Arians concerned about Swope injury

Posted by Darren Urban on June 21, 2013 – 7:36 pm

Coach Bruce Arians has been pretty tight-lipped about the situation around rookie wide receiver Ryan Swope and the head injury that kept Swope out of almost all of the offseason work, but he acknowledged to’s Ian Rapoport he is “worried” about Swope.

Talking about his rookies, Arians said “Only guy I am worried about is Swope with his head.” Arians is also quoted as saying the Cardinals were “very, very, very surprised” Swope missed so much time.

“I’m not sure what he can do, I’m not sure what the doctors are going to do at this point,” Arians said. “I hope … because the kid is a great talent, and it would be a shame. But having Austin Collie last year going through this same thing, it’s scary.”

Collie, who like Swope has been dealing with concussion issues, played in just one game last year for the Colts, for whom Arians was offensive coordinator. The unknown doesn’t seem to bode well, although the Cardinals have had some other young receiving possibilities out at least this time of year. Swope insisted he was ready to go when the Cards drafted him and the Cards were obviously convinced he was worth the sixth-round risk. With two six-round picks, the team felt it was a risk worth taking. Swope may have to start thinking about his own risk in this situation.

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38 Responses to “Arians concerned about Swope injury”

  1. By infitzwetrust on Jun 21, 2013 | Reply

    This really blows… Every draft pick is extremely important, even late round picks. Call me crazy but swope is my favorite draft pick we took in terms of value. Draft guru Mike Mayock had this guy slated as a 3rd round talent and I hope it all works out. At least our top 3 wr spots are pretty much solidified giving up time to deal with this issue with no major effects.

  2. By Steve Drumm on Jun 21, 2013 | Reply

    Darren: Was Swope injured while practicing with the Cardinals or is this a carry over issue (concussions) from his playing days at Texas A&M that continue to linger?

  3. By Darren Urban on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    Steve –

    RE: specifics

    The above are all the specifics I have.

  4. By Chuck 1 on Jun 21, 2013 | Reply

    Not a good decision by Keim to draft Swope when there were other needs.
    It appears that he might never play in the NFL or if he does, not for long.
    I hope that I’m wrong.

  5. By cardsalltheway on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    Swope was the 6th pick in the 6th round but guess who was chosen 8th? We could’ve had OT David Quessenberry(former TE with quick feet, long arms, 3rd round grade, has played 4 OL positions, 1st-team All-WAC, Mike Mayock said could start at LT ) 6’5 302 San Jose St.

    Quessenberry will be starting for the Houston Texans somewhere on their OL, barring injury. Or we could’ve had TE Mychal Rivera 6’3 242 Tennessee. Both players have videos that can be viewed from the 6th round draft at the link below.

    Sounds like a major flubbing picking Swope!

  6. By shannon robinson on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    I coach the UNM Womens Rugby Team. The protocols for a concussion for our team are one week without practice or a game for the first ever concussion (identified by an athletic trainor). A second concussion occurring after any elapsed time requires a one month of inactivity from practice, limited running and passing, no contact. A third concussion requires a six month or up to one year vacation from the game. Sometimes you have to retire a player and move them to management and coaching. I was shocked to hear that Ryan had multiple concussions at Texas A & M and never missed a game. I think we should give him a year off on Injured Reserve and save his carreer.

  7. By Chuck 1 on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    I’m curious why some fans gave me a thumbs down (even though I wrote I hoped that I an wrong).

    Was it because I wrote that it was a bad decision by Keim? If so, what will you think of his decision if Swope never plays for the Cards or is so limited by his concussions that he is essentially useless? And, don’t you think, as cardsalltheway wrote, that there were some other players that Keim could have drafted that would have filled more pressing needs?

    Or, was it because I raised the possibility that Swope might never play in the NFL, or if he does it won’t be for long because he will surely suffer another concussion?

  8. By John The Draft Guy on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply


    I loved David Quessenberry in this draft. He could play anywhere on the line and looked good in bowl game. If you look at my pre draft post, I was thinking he would fit great with the cards.

    But a Healthy Ryan Swope is a big time playmaker. He is a bigger faster version of Welker. He can play the slot of outside and would be a matchup nightmare.

    The problem is his health. Shannon Robinson may be right. The problem is, it would be tough to count on him. So I need to see him play this year.

    Andre Roberts is a FA in 2014. Fitz’s cap hit is 18 mil in 2014. Floyd’s contract ends in 2015. To think we dont need to groom a wr is crazy. Swope would be that perfect guy if his head was right.

    Byrd and Brown and others are looking at the door being open and a chance to impress.

  9. By Andy Kw on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    To be honest, I would rather see Ryan Swope at full power next season than watch Swope play through injuries this season. Just give him one year on the bench and he will be great in the 2014 season. We don’t need him this year as we are packed on Wide Receivers. Fitzgerald, Floyd and Roberts are the top 3 Wide Receivers. Robert Gill has breakout speed and although he is a 28 year old rookie, he has potential to be our #4 receiver for the 2013 season until our buddy Swope returns from the concussion. LaRon Byrd has shown flashes of greatness in the 2012 preseason and I expect him to be a contributor on the offense and special teams. Take your time Swope to heal, we need you in the 2014 season.

  10. By Mark in Chandler on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    Hindsight can be 20/20. When the 6th round started I targeted Swope and was excited when he was there. The kid has good hands, solid size, can play inside and out and ran a 4.27 at the combined, tied with Austin for the 2nd fastest. His concussions had never caused him to miss real time so I thought he was a steal in the 6th round.

    That said, if he never sees the field it is easy to second guess the decision. What did the Cards not know that they should have? Was it an issue of poor information or a poor decision? How would you like to be the scout who advocated for Swope?

    Here are some alternatives that the Cards passed on in favor of Swope and Ellington. In the end the question is, if Swope was worth the risk/reward instead of one of the alternatives. Here is the order I would have drafted if the Cards had took a pass on Swope.

    OLB- Cornelius Washington Poor man’s Ansah. I have no idea why he fell. I might have considered taking him before Okafor. Strong side OLB. Very good straight-line speed. Solid against the run, played well in senior bowl. Played with a bad wheel his senior year but still had a solid year.

    TE- Michael Williams Great blocking TE

    WR- Cobi Hamilton- Great receiver. I like his game but only ran a 4.56 at the combine. The Cards were clearly targeting someone with speed to stretch the field.

    TE-Mychal Rivera Good receiving TE

    OL-David Quessenberry Good depth guy. Brings versatility but did not grade with starting talent. Plus Watford lessened the need for another OL.

    DL- Kapron Lewis-Moore Good DL depth. Solid against the run.

    S- Baccari Rambo all the talent in the world but huge off the field red flags. That is why he fell all the way to the 6th. Understandably, the Cards might have completely taken him off their board.

  11. By ored on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    i think if you believe that swopes has the ability to be a game changer,then a 6th round pick is warranted,especially when you have two.not saying there are’nt other good players but everyone is a risk,either a bust or by injury,so with his upside it was’nt hard to see somebody taking the risk,besides he’s still young and it’s early in his career,just wish him good luck and let it play out,

  12. By William Barry on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    I saw some clips of Ryan Swope prior to the draft on ESPN, and he caught everything thrown his way…and he is lightning quick…he would be a tough matchup, and will help spread defenses against us. Let’s hope he plays

  13. By cardsalltheway on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck 1,
    You ought not be critical of anyone within the Cards Org, or get the downward thumb. As bad as our OL was last year we only drafted 2 OL(guards). If Nate Potter goes down with an injury for very long, we’re in trouble and so is out QB. N. Potter is better than L. Brown at LT. We’re already calling “bust” on one player this year, that’s pretty bad. Drafting Swope before David Quessenberry was a sin. Slot receivers are a dime a dozen, OT’s are not.

    Comparing Swope to Wes Welker? This is what will never be said of Swope…

    “Wes is the best slot receiver in the league,” Patriots coach Bill Belichick said.
    The last time the Jets and Patriots played, the Jets hit Brady 33 times. They blitzed on almost every play.

    Welker wasn’t there for that game, out with a knee injury. That’s a big difference in their offense. With Welker this time, the Jets didn’t blitz as much. With Welker, Brady always seems to have an outlet receiver to get the ball to quickly.

    When told of Welker’s numbers from this game, Jets safety Kerry Rhodes was surprised.

    “Wow,” he said. “That is pretty bad, but he is a good player. He does a good job of finding the open spot and Brady puts it right to him.”

  14. By Dynosoar on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck 1,

    I wonder why you were given a thumbs down as well. I think we are very deep at WR. I was thrilled to get Swope, but would have been equally satisfied with Quessenberry as Cardsalltheway pointed out.


    appreciate your insights. Do Rugby players have the same concuccion rate as football players? It seems a sport with fewer injuries (or rather, fewer serious injuries). I’m with Shannon on the year off as well. We did it for Levi, let’s do it for Swope.

  15. By red bird of death! on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    Ok, let’s just hope this kid gets healthy because he is a playmaker somebody was not paying close attention to this guy and pulled the trigger on him way too fast …….what the heck people?

  16. By clssylssy on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    As far as Ryan Swope goes, he is fortunate to be in Phoenix where he can get some of the best treatment and rehab in the world at the Barrows Neurological Institute (includes the hospital). Many high profile figures have received treatment at Barrows for a variety of neurological ailments and for now his health should be his only concern. Having a career in the NFL is not a priority in the bigger picture; quality of life can be achieved doing many things other than playing football and risking residual sequela. If he gets through this he’d be smart to walk away and not push the envelope. I have been extremely impressed by signings other teams have been doing and while there is clearly still a need at several positions, the Cards have remained seemingly inactive? It seems that it would be beneficial to be signing talent before training camp and this Ryan Swope issue makes me feel that somebody really fumbled the ball…not a great beginning!

  17. By sbrown on Jun 22, 2013 | Reply

    If I remember right, Swope was here just for the rookie three day camp right after the draft, and after that he missed all 13 OTA’s and the three day mini camp. It could be still concussion issues that just by being out in the heat triggered.
    Swope did go to the NFL Combine, so he would have to had his physical there, as well as another physical when he signed his contract here. maybe there is where something was found, concussion wise, that the Cards are working to get him better.
    Cards are looking deep in WR this season, it is more important for Swope to get back to 100% healthy, so maybe a year off due to injury is what it will take. His health must be the most important issue right now !

  18. By Eazy E on Jun 23, 2013 | Reply

    I really hope and pray this dude plays because he can ball.

  19. By Dan on Jun 23, 2013 | Reply

    Either that or he doesn’t want to play in Arizona.

  20. By clssylssy on Jun 23, 2013 | Reply

    @Dynosoar…LOL! Dude, you’ve been around here for quite awhile and should know by now that these are a “coach by committee” group who do a “hands down”, not necessarily because you voiced a incorrect observation but, more as a message that they don’t like your take, perceive you as part of the non-coolaide drinking faction! For what it’s worth, I find your comments enjoyable and have to wonder about people who consider an NFL career more important than lasting brain damage?

  21. By shannon robinson on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply

    Dynosaur, Rugby injuries are similar to soccer for women. Tackles require wrapping your arms at point of contact, like a wrestling take-down. Players are taught to hit shoulder first and drive the opponent to the ground with YOUR HEAD ON TOP of the tackle. Helmets provide protection in football but are also weapons. Rugby has violent hits but more shoulder driven. Men are harder to coach in the tackle area because they have to unlearn a lot of football coaching to lead with you head. However, concussions are rugby’s bigget concern – high tackles are illegal.

  22. By Chris on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply

    Darren, could u plz give an update on the development of the rookies last year shape-wise? Would be interested in the progress guys like Potter/Kelemente/Massie made physically.

  23. By Darren Urban on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply

    Chris –

    RE: OL shape

    Massie was always in a good spot. Potter has put on some muscle and says he is stronger. Not sure on Senio.

  24. By Dynosoar on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply


    That was an awsome response that has me grinning. “coach by committee”, that’s why I’ll always prefer Kirk to Picard.

    “For what it’s worth”, comming from you it’s worth a whole lot and I agree, I’m not sure if any amount of money is worth lasting brain damage or other serious injuries. At least not in my book. (Although, some might want the money, but I wonder if Mohamed Ali even knows how much money he has, let alone enjoying it.)

    5 thumbs down and counting. HaHa! Chuck1 has 17 and you’ve got 6 so far, I’m envious.

  25. By Dynosoar on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply

    shannon robinson,

    I watch a lot of Rugby (well, several games a year, we have a local channel that plays some games and tournaments every few weeks) and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a concussion. Then again, I’ve not watched as much as you would have. I do see ankle injuries and I’ve seen some arm and leg injuries and even a break or two and plenty of bloodied noses and lips. Glad to report no concussions.

    As much as I like football, I do not like seeing any player injured. I understand it’s part of the sport and culture of the game to “hurt” the opponents, but I’d love to see an injury free game, or season. I don’t want to see flag football, but fewer injuries would be great.

    (Did ya’ll know that there is only one Olympic sport that has fewer injuries than fencing, it’s badmitten. Hard to believe, but Table Tennis has more injuries than fencing. Go figure.)

    Good write up. Thanks.

  26. By Mark on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply

    Maybe its time for the cards to give Steve Breaston a call, the guy was a reliable player for the cards with good hands and is only 29. We all remeber that great forced fumble he caused a couple of years back.

  27. By Kevin S on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck 1 —

    For the record, I didn’t give you one of the thumbs down. That said, I can see why people might. I don’t think anyone would thumbs-down you just because you were critical of Keim — it’s a message board; everyone is critical from time to time. But your post re: Swope seems kinda Monday-morning QB-ish… I mean, a LOT of commentators were very positive about the Swope pick in the 6th round, saying it was a steal. Now, was it a risk because of the concussion history? Sure, but it was a 6th round pick; it’s not like the Cards blew the 7th pick in the draft on a guy who will never play. It was a risk/reward pick. If it turns out that he never plays, then obviously it didn’t work out. But that doesn’t mean it was a bad decision at the time. I mean, if you’re on here BEFORE the guy gets picked saying, “Hey, we need to stay away from Swope, he’s a huge injury risk,” then that’s one thing. Or if very soon after the pick you were critical of it because of the injury risk, or said we should have picked Quisenberry, then fine. It’s not, as Cardsalltheway suggests, that you’re being critical of the team. It’s that no one likes when someone acts like it was obvious at the time that we should have stayed away from Swope.

    As a comparison, if Mathieu turns out to be a bust because he can’t stay away from drugs, and only then do we start hearing from people saying, “What a waste of a 3rd round pick!” — well, I won’t give any credence to those folks. But if someone puts their money where their mouth is NOW and says that the Cards should not have picked him, and then a year from now he’s released, then by all means that person should be on here reminding us he said Mathieu was a bad pick — as long as he’s willing to eat crow if Mathieu ends up terrific.

  28. By John The Draft Guy on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply

    Kevin S,

    Well said. I agree with everything you said. I have had that argument several times regarding Andre Wadsworth. Andre was clear and away the top D player in the draft. After holding out, he rallied to have a decent rookie year capped off with the domination of Dallas’ Eric Williams in the playoff game. Wads had 2 sacks of Aikman and harassed him all game. (remember A. Williams had 2 picks) . Then the next year he blows out a knee and was done. Everyone called him a bust and the cards wasted a pick.

    I never understood that.

  29. By Dre on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply

    Give Stevie Breaston a call, he should be home. It was a great draft and Keim was magically. I like Swope. I think he will make our receiving core better by adding depth but I’m not going to lose sleep on a 6th rounder not panning out. A 2nd rounder like Cody Brown, well that’s a different story.

  30. By Annette Richters on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply

    We have plenty of WRs right now. Let Ryan have a year off and come back healthy. Nuff said. Our O Line is going to fool a lot of people this year because we have two good run play guards on each side of our center. With the WRs we have and two tight end sets, we have some excellent blockers in front of our new and soon to be franchise RB from……………..yes………….the Steelers. They will wish they had Rashard Mendenhall back. At 25, and if you watch him making cuts and accelerating, he has a lot of years left to give us the run game we need. Then with Carson tossing the ball downfield or short to either of two tight ends while the other TE blocks for his cohort ……………………………..playoffs 2013. what was Kurts number……………..uhhhh………….yep………….13. It’s a lucky number for us guys. Ryan can come in next season completely healthy and look out long ball. 🙂

  31. By Chuck 1 on Jun 24, 2013 | Reply

    Kevin S,

    I understand the perception that I’m “Monday morning QBing”.

    I didn’t criticize the potential selection of Swope prior to the draft or the actual selection of him after the draft because I don’t research the college players as JTDG, you and a few others do. Frankly, I didn’t even know of him.

    The Cards downplayed Swope’s concussion situation shortly after the draft. It wasn’t until later that it became a serious factor. As a matter of fact, check out the first paragraph in Darren’s blog: “Coach Bruce Arians has been pretty tight-lipped about the situation around rookie wide receiver Ryan Swope and the head injury that kept Swope out of almost all of the offseason work, but he acknowledged to’s Ian Rapoport he is “worried” about Swope”.

    I do think that Keim and his team of scouts should have been aware or the severity of his multiple concussions. Apparently, other teams were aware of the situation. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have lasted until the 6th round. I reiterate what cardsalltheway wrote. There were pressing needs, especially OL that the Cards could have tried to shore up.

    Let me be clear about my wishes for Swope. I hope that he has a terrific career for the Cards; five, 10 or fifteen years and that he catches the pass that wins the SB for the Cards this season.

  32. By cardsalltheway on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    Awww heck, why don’t we pick up Laurent Robinson? He’s available and has had multiple concussions just like Ryan Swope, he might even agree to less money.

  33. By T. Stone on Jun 25, 2013 | Reply

    Some of you seem to be a little too sensitive about the thumbs down thingy. This article was about Swope, and if they are not careful that might be the only thing he will be able to do later in life when asked if he is hungry.

  34. By robmilne1 on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    Can rookies Ellington and Taylor take the starting job? or will Ryan Williams overcome his fears?

  35. By cardsalltheway on Jun 26, 2013 | Reply

    You’d think by that article, Bruce Arians, and Darren that William Powell didn’t even exist. Stop the insults!

  36. By Darren Urban on Jun 27, 2013 | Reply

    Cardsalltheway –

    RE: stop the insults

    We will if you will.

  37. By Kevin S on Jun 27, 2013 | Reply

    Chuck 1 —

    I’d be shocked if Keim and the Cards’ organization didn’t have the same information available to them that every other team did about Swope’s concussions. And they decided, based on what they knew, that it was a risk worth taking at that point in the draft. Like I said, I don’t think simply being critical of Keim is getting you negative feedback, but implying they didn’t do their homework on Swope is. Obviously the team expected him to be playing by now — hence the “very, very, very surprised” quote re: how much time he has missed.

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