Buffalo Bills tight end Tommy Sweeney had his 2020 season cut short after a bout with COVID-19 left him with myocarditis and a need to refrain from physical activity for months.
Via Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News, Sweeney – who was been cleared to returned to the field with the Bills – is just happy to be back with the team after his concerning episode last fall.
“Hopefully, it’s all behind me,” Sweeney said. “I’ve got to keep tabs on it and check in every now and again, but I feel good. It feels great to be back out there and it feels pretty normal.”
Sweeney is believed to be the first and only known case of myocarditis to surface among NFL players who caught the coronavirus last year. Myocarditis is an inflammation of part of the heart that has been linked to COVID-19 infection.
Sweeney said he did have some concern about his football future due to the uncertainty of his condition. However, his doctors were positive about his outlook and that helped assuage his concerns.
“There was a little bit, because you never know,” Sweeney said. “I mean, with this, you still don’t know. It’s a completely new thing. There was a level of it, but the cardiologists here we talked to were great and just real positive about it. I felt really comfortable with what they wanted me to do, but there was definitely a level of concern. Naturally, when you get told something like this, the heart is different than something else that keeps you off the field in football.”
Sweeney appeared in six games as a rookie for the Bills in 2019 and was a part of the team’s practice squad last season when he was diagnosed with COVID-19. The myocarditis diagnosis ended Sweeney’s season as the Bills made a run to the AFC Championship Game against the Kansas City Chiefs in his absence.
Now back on the field, Sweeney hopes to be a part of another strong run from the Bills this fall.
“It’s a great thing to come back to,” he said. “It helped motivate me through the process to come back. This thing is real. The air around the building, all that’s real. I’m just happy to see the growth we’ve been taking every year and being a part of it is exciting. I’m happy to be back.”