2 years after being shot twice in head, former NFL WR making comeback


Injuries, of course, are a huge part of football.

But usually that entails sprained ankles, blown-out knees and concussions.

For former Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey, those would be minor bumps and bruises.

In 2015, Stedman was shot twice in the head in a drive-by attack while he was a passenger in a friend’s car. He was hospitalized in critical condition with a fractured skull.

Doctors thought his career was over.

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Doctors might have been wrong.

On Thursday, there was Stedman, a full participant in Marshall University’s Pro Day, working out with players who are hopeful of being drafted.

Just being on the field felt good for the former third-round draft pick.

”I never had a doubt in my mind that I’d be able to play again,” Stedman told the Huntington Herald-Dispatch. “It kind of hurt with reports from doctors that I may not be able to walk or I might have trouble speaking again.”

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The former West Virginia Mountaineer is doing a whole lot more than speaking these days.

Remarkably, Stedman was back on the field running just five months after the incident in Miami Gardens, Florida.

But it was a surgery in October to insert a plate into his skull that he says “changed the game” in terms of a comeback.

The plate provides extra protection against potential NFL hits.

He took his fair share of shots during his three years with the Rams, catching 59 balls for 843 yards and two touchdowns.

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Now a free agent, Stedman is able to sign with any team.

He never had a doubt.

”Me, just being a positive person that I am, I just waved those reports [that he couldn’t play] off, like ‘OK, we’ll see.’ I set it in my mind to show them differently,” he said.

Thursday was the first step toward doing just that.

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Mike is an 11-time Michigan Emmy Award winner who has spent nearly 30 years working in sports media.
Mike has spent nearly 30 years in all aspects of sports media, including on-air, 10 at ESPN and another 10 at Fox Sports Detroit. He now works as a TV agent, and lives with his family in West Bloomfield, MI.
Sudbury, Massachusetts
11-time Michigan Emmy winner
Emerson College
Books Written
The Longest Year: One Family's Journey Of Life, Death, And Love/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Tigers/If These Walls Could Talk: Detroit Lions
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