RICHMOND — Nine snaps into his NFL debut last season, Martrell Spaight suffered a concussion. And nearly a year later, he’s working his way back.
The inside linebacker spent nearly all of the 2015 season on the injured reserve list, only recording one tackle in the Washington Redskins‘ home opener against the Miami Dolphins.
“I really feel like it’s the toughest injury to try to bounce back from,” Spaight said of his concussion. “Other injuries you can bounce back from just training on it, but it’s hard to work with the brain because you think so much. Thinking, thinking, thinking can make it worse.”
Through concussion protocol, Spaight wore sunglasses, stayed out of sunlight and drastically decreased TV time. He said once he got back around his teammates, he felt better.
But he had to keep a solid mind-set. So he approached it as taking a redshirt.
Now that he’s back, he’s not taking anything for granted, and that’s caught the attention of Jay Gruden.
“Spaight is having one heck of a camp so far,” Gruden said. “He’s turned a lot of heads.”
Knowing that he’s made an impression, Spaight is not going to let up now.
“The coaches do a great job of pushing us to be great,” Spaight said. “Coming out here and getting better every day, that’s my main approach.”
Even though Spaight’s only in his second year, and his first season was derailed, he said it still feels like the game is slowing down for him.
But even though everything is slowing down, he’s still trying to absorb as much as he can from the veteran linebackers around him, like Perry Riley Jr. and Mason Foster.
“Being around them another year is really helping me as far as learning the overall aspect of the game of football,” Spaight said. “… They do a great job of breaking things down for us younger players to understand. Without those guys, I don’t think I would be where I am today.”
But it’s not all serious. Two of the Redskins’ biggest jokesters are both linebackers.
“I think that’s the good thing about it because they’re not always serious,” Spaight said with a smile on his face. “It’s a balance between the two. … Every day is something. There’s never a dull moment in those meeting rooms with Will Compton and Mason Foster. Everyday they’re cracking jokes.”
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