By now, most are familiar with the story of Stedman Bailey to this point: played three record-breaking seasons at WVU, was selected by the then St. Louis Rams in the 3rd round of the 2013 NFL Draft, and played for three seasons before suffering a gunshot wound to the head in late 2015.
For many players, not to mention anyone in general, their story would end there. Not so for Stedman Bailey. Now, at 27 years of age, the second half of his story has yet to begin.
From the moment he walked out of the hospital, he’s been determined to set foot on an NFL field once again. The odds were against him. During this era where the NFL is very cognizant of players competing with head injuries, Bailey had a big issue that had nothing to do with a concussion. Note the word ‘had‘ in the previous sentence.
After having surgery following the incident in Miami, a metal plate was placed in his head. That kept him from being cleared by neurologists who feared for, not only his safety, but for his life.
This past summer, he went through an outpatient procedure to remove the pieces of metal in his head and replace them with a protective layer around his skull.
“The recovery surgery did go well,” Bailey told us in an interview.
All this time, Bailey has felt like he should be on the field. Now that time has come as he has received clearance from the NFL and doctors to return to action.
“Doctors say I can play,” said Bailey, “but it’ll be up to teams to clear me, which I’ll be looking at this off season.”
He has spent his hours working out every day at a facility near the Rams’ offices out Thousand Oaks, California. He ran routes during the offseason with Geno Smith and trained with other NFL players such as Antonio Brown as well.
He will be a free-agent and available to every team in the NFL.
“I’ll be looking for teams to bring me in for workouts so they can see me move personally,” Bailey said. “From there I know I’ll be good. Steddy ambition baby!”