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Sun., Jul. 19, 2015 7:30 AM PDT
Malcom Floyd Enthused for 2014 Return
Phase One of the Chargers’ offseason program commences on April 22, and fans will be happy to hear that a particular Bolt plans to be back in the fold.Malcom Floyd’s status after the wide receiver suffered a scary neck injury last Sept. 15 in Philadelphia that cost him the remainder of the 2013 campaign. The stadium went silent as he was carted off the field and subsequently placed in a neck brace he wore for a number of months following. After difficult number of months to say the least, “M-80” was elated to say he’ll be at Chargers Park with his teammates for the start of voluntary workouts next week.
“I’ll definitely be there for that,” he said with his trademark ear-to-ear smile. “I’m excited to be back and just be around my teammates again. You don’t realize how much you take for granted until you go through something like I did, so it feels good to be back. I know I’m in good hands with (Head Athletic Trainer) James Collins and his staff. I’m listening to their advice and to my body, and I feel like I’m in a good position right now. I feel really good running and everything.”
The popular wideout was in the middle of another superb game, having caught five passes for 102 yards in the first half, when he was injured early in the third quarter as he attempted to haul in a pass over the middle. The outpouring of fan support was palpable, and seven months later, Floyd still chokes up thinking about how the city of San Diego rallied by his side.
“Words can’t do justice to what they meant to me,” he said. “The fans have always supported me. It was an unfortunate injury, but at the same time I was able to see a level of support I had never seen before. It says a lot about the game and how much our fans really care about their players. I really appreciate all their prayers. I can’t say enough about what they meant to me. I’m just really happy to be back and I want to continue to make them proud.”
Floyd said he has returned to running and working out, but he has not been cleared to return to 100% normal activity just yet. While many speculated about his future, Floyd never doubted he would be back playing the game he loves.
“There wasn’t a day where I considered I wouldn’t be able to come back,” he explained. “There were definitely a number of tough times though. But I continued to keep my head up. There are a number of players in this league, and in this locker room, who persevered through tough injuries as well. They are guys who came back and played their hearts out, so they are all inspirations to me. I know as long as I take care of my body and listen to my body, it will respond. The beautiful thing about the human body is it adapts well as long as you support it.”
Now, Floyd aims to build on what has been a splendid career to date in which he’s caught 239 passes for 4,133 yards and 25 touchdowns. Even though he wasn’t able to be out on the field with his teammates last season, he never lost touch with them throughout the year. While he said it was painfully frustrating not to be out there during the team’s magical ride to the playoffs, he’s looking forward to being a part of what he says is a bright future for the Bolts.
“It was a great inspiration to see my teammates succeed last year,” he said. “It really boosted my morale to see how well they did. It made me really, really want to come back. I just want to do whatever the coaches ask of me. If that means starting or not, however they think I can best be useful, I just want to help the team. That’s the player I’ve been over the years, so I will continue to do my best whenever I get my opportunities to help the Chargers win. I just want to be a part of this young team and help them out like a savvy veteran can.”
One player who understandably impressed Floyd during his absence last year and who he’s looking forward to working with is rookie sensation, Keenan Allen.
“I was so proud watching him grow,” he said. “He was awesome last year. I saw him in the summer and I always thought he was good, but he really had a special year. He really helped out the team in the big way just like a number of other young guys. I think they have really given us a momentum boost heading into this season. I just hope to come in and add some more firepower.”
Since entering the league in 2004, the 32-year old Floyd has built a strong rapport with Philip Rivers. While there are numerous motivations inspiring Floyd in his return to the field, the chance to once again suit up alongside his dear friend is certainly a significant one.
“I think it’s going to be the same as it’s always been,” he said. “I just want to be out there to help him out. I’ve always said we’re blessed to have him be our quarterback. I’m blessed to play under him. His work ethic is unheard of. I don’t know another guy in this league who works as hard as he does. He’s here before the coaches get here and he’s the last one to leave! I can’t imagine doing this without him. I’m always striving to reach his standard and follow his lead. It’s just awesome to be around him. He’s a great human being.”
Overall, Floyd’s entire ordeal gave him a new appreciation for the game he loves. His adoration for the game has never been stronger and he’s tirelessly preparing for a standout 2014.
“You never know when your last play is going to be,” he said. “There are a lot of things I wish I could change coming into this year, and I don’t want to say I have a chip on my shoulder, but more than ever before I want to be there for my team. I know that’s going to take a lot of hard work but I am willing to do it. I am more excited for this year than ever before. I missed my teammates, the fans and the entire staff here. I missed just being able to do what a normal human being does. But now that I’m feeling normal, I feel myself getting into beast mode. I’m ready for the season to start.”