Lions’ Ron Bartell: Broken neck didn’t change how I play

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Lions cornerback Ron Bartell suffered a broken neck in the first game of the 2011 season and has managed to play in just seven games since then. But Bartell says health concerns won’t change how he plays.

The two fractured vertebrae ended Bartell’s 2011 season, and when he returned in 2012 he suffered a broken shoulder, but Bartell says that he thinks those injuries are just a sign of bad luck in the past, and not anything he needs to worry about going forward.

“One thing about my injuries were they were contact injuries,” Bartell told the Detroit Free Press. “Me being physical, going in and making a tackle and I get hit while making a tackle and I fracture my neck. Another injury I’m going in to make a tackle and I get hit by a teammate, I fracture my scapula. So kind of freak accidents. I’d be more worried if it was nagging injuries as far as pulls or tears, things of that nature.”

Bartell says his recent injury problems aren’t changing his approach.

“I’m not going to change the way I play,” he said. “I’m going to always tackle, be aggressive, be physical and try to disrupt the wide receivers. Like I said, that’s how I made a living in this league, that’s how I’ve been able to stick around nine years so I’m not going to change that now.”

If a broken neck won’t change the way Bartell plays, nothing will.