Dwight Lowery is hopeful he’s put a history of concussions behind him.
But last season didn’t start out so well. Lowery suffered the third concussion of his career and second within a year during a training camp practice. His 2013 season with the Jacksonville Jaguars ended after he suffered a concussion in the third game.
“Well, if I felt like it was an issue, I probably wouldn’t have played anymore, to be honest with you,” Lowery said recently during offseason training activities. “That’s not something you really want to play with. I talked to a lot of doctors. I’ve done a lot of research myself to understand the concussion situation.
“We play a violent game. We’re not the only sport where there’s contact. There’s a lot of other contact sports out there that you can suffer head injuries from, and that’s part of the risk. But if you start playing slow and you start thinking about things that don’t have to do with the football game, then that’s when bad stuff is going to happen. That’s when you get injured.”
Lowery, 29, is expected to start alongside Mike Adams. The 5-11, 212-pound safety made a career-high 79 tackles with five passes defended, two interceptions and two forced fumbles last season.
He had never played in more than 11 games before last season, so there’s obviously some risk involved.
“Every situation is different, you know?” Lowery said. “I’m not a doctor, you know? All I can do is say whatever the situation is. I don’t go out anticipating bad things happening.
“I just play as hard as I can, just be as healthy as I can, be alert on the field. The times I did get concussions, they were in situations when I wasn’t alert to what was happening and what was going on. It wasn’t something where I was making a tackle and, boom, I got a concussion. It was more like a hit I didn’t see and things of that nature.”
The Colts drafted Central Florida safety Clayton Geathers in the fourth round, and head coach Chuck Pagano has said Geathers has the talent to contribute immediately, presumably as a reserve at the outset.
The Colts wanted another veteran presence on their back line with Adams, a 12th-year pro who just went to his first Pro Bowl. For his 84-game career, Lowery has made 259 tackles, had 50 passes defended, 12 interceptions and forced seven fumbles. He returned two of the interceptions for touchdowns while with the New York Jets in 2010.
“I’m very appreciative,” he said. “This is a great locker room. It’s always hard being a new player and guys you don’t really have a solid relationship with anybody within the organization, so it’s hard a little bit at first.
“Everybody here for the most part seems pretty accepting, players, coaches, people who work on the staff. It’s very comforting in that regard. As a player that’s coming into that situation, you’ve just got to day in and day out show what type of player you are, show the things that you can contribute, show the teammates that you can contribute to this winning organization and try to reach the highest of your potential each and every single day.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.