Forecasting when an athlete will return to play following a concussion is a futile exercise. Some make it back in a matter of days; others need a year or more before they feel like themselves again, if they ever feel like themselves again.
Cardinals wide receiver Ryan Swope suffered at least four concussions during his days at Texas A&M, and the effects of those traumatic brain injuries have followed him into his first few months in the NFL. Swope missed all offseason workouts and according to NFL.com's Chris Wesseling, the Cardinals "had no idea" that Swope would miss so much time. That has head coach Bruce Arians very concerned.
"We were very, very, very surprised about it," Arians said Friday. "I'm not sure what [Swope] can do. I'm not sure what the doctors are going to do at this point."
Swope's history puts him at extreme risk of his next concussion ending his football career. Just look at Jahvid Best, who hasn't played since 2011 because the concussions he suffered in college and the NFL have essentially ended his career. Nobody has an idea when Swope will be medically cleared, but that's how it goes with concussions. They are completely unpredictable. Swope has the tools to be a successful volume pass-catcher at this level, but since the Cardinals already have a nice receiving corps with Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts, Michael Floyd and Rob Housler, giving Swope the year is probably best for his long-term interests.