When former Rams receiver Stedman Bailey was shot twice in the head on Nov. 24, 2015, it was unclear what his future held. He was in critical condition with non-life-threatening injuries, but it was hard for anyone to imagine him playing another down of football.
Less than three years later, Bailey is back on the field and attempting to revive his NFL career. He took part in Marshall’s pro day on Wednesday, going through a workout for scouts as he attempts to play in the pros once again.
While some doubted his chances of returning from such a serious injury, he never believed his career was over.
“I never had a doubt in my mind that I’d be able to play again,” Bailey said, via the Herald-Dispatch. “It kind of hurt with reports from doctors that I may not be able to walk or I may have trouble speaking again. Me, just being a positive person that I am, I just waved those reports off like, ‘OK, we’ll see.’ I set it in my mind to show them differently.
“That incident happened in November 2015 and, five months later, I was on the field running routes and feeling good.”
What’s increased Bailey’s chances of playing football again is a metal plate that was inserted into his skull. It’s stronger than bone, which makes those hits to the head less of a concern for him than even the average football player.
He certainly has the talent to compete in the NFL, too. At West Virginia, he caught 210 passes for 3,218 yards and a whopping 41 touchdowns. In 2012 alone, his junior season, he amassed 114 receptions for 1,622 yards and 25 touchdowns – a simply ridiculous stat line that rivals those put up in “Madden.”
There’s no telling whether a team will take a chance on Bailey, but at just 27 years old, Bailey still has a promising future ahead of him.