Chuckie Cowans felt on top of the world late in fall camp. The 5-8, 168-pound defensive back from Chicago's Richards High School was playing the best football of his career, and he was entrenched in the DB rotation.
Then Cowans suffered an injury, which he described as a sprained right forearm, that put him on the sidelines for one month. Cowans did not strap the pads back on until early last week, after four weeks of being held back from practice.
But immediately, Cowans stepped back into the rotation and got reps against Northern Illinois. He is now a permanent part of the silver package and should get some reps at cornerback vs. Arizona Saturday morning.
"I'm feeling good being back out there again," Cowans said. "The (forearm) feels alright now, but I have to wear (a cast). It's pretty light though. I use it as a club a little bit."
Cowans said the injury came at a bad time for him, because he had steadily improved throughout spring football and continued that progression into the early part of fall camp. He felt he'd impressed Secondary Coach Ron Cooper and was slated for a lot of playing time.
"I improved tremendously. That was my best fall camp ever," Cowans said. "I felt good, I was out there in the rotation…I'm still feeling real good right now, getting back out there again."
Cowans said going a full month without practicing was no fun, but he said he made the most of it.
"It was a great learning experience for me, because you learn a lot more sitting on the sidelines. You can learn everything from the sidelines. Mental reps are preparation for everything nowadays," Cowans said. "That time really gave me a chance to see and tell myself I know I can be better, I can do that. It just made me hungry to want to go out and play more."
Cowans said he's grateful to Cooper and the rest of the coaching staff for giving him the opportunity to prove himself immediately upon his return.
"It felt good because at first I was thinking I might not be able to go back out there where I was," Cowans said. "The coaches did a tremendous job letting me go back out there and play again, and it felt really good."
Cowans thrilled to be back
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