M alcom Floyd recalled an overwhelming sense of helplessness.
He wanted to get up, but he couldn’t. He wanted the tingling in his arms and legs to go away, but it didn’t.
The River City High School graduate and veteran San Diego Chargers wide receiver was crushed on an over-the-middle pass at Philadelphia in Week 2 last season. Floyd’s head was driven back into his shoulder pads by the Eagles’ DeMeco Ryans. Floyd crumpled to the turf. While trainers attended to him, teammates surrounded him. Floyd’s neck was immobilized, his helmet left on his head but face mask removed. He was whisked out of Lincoln Financial Field on a stretcher.
Floyd, who turns 33 in September, suffered a spinal cord contusion. His season was over but not the pain. He experienced the tingling in his limbs and sharp pains in his neck for months. He wore a neck brace until December, including to bed.
It could have been worse, certainly, and that’s why Floyd said he feels “grateful” for such a productive, return-to-form training camp, and to be listed as a starter in his 10th NFL season. The Chargers play the 49ers on Sunday, and Floyd will have scores of family members at Levi’s Stadium, including his older brother, Malcolm – with an extra “L” in his first name – who also played wide receiver in the NFL during the 1990s after excelling at McClatchy and Fresno State.
“I don’t have a lot of seasons left in my career, so I want to enjoy all of this while I can,” Floyd said. “I appreciate all of it. It’s great to be back.”
When he retires from football, Floyd said he will consider a career in engineering or medicine. And he wants to watch his three young children – Malc, Maiu and Marae – grow up. Mostly, he wants to finish his career, which started as an undrafted rookie out of Wyoming, on his own terms – to walk away on his own power.
“It’s not shocking at all that Malcom’s here,” Chargers coach Mike McCoy told San Diego media recently. “Anyone who’s been here, who’s coached him, has always raved about his work ethic, his leadership.”
Section Hall of Fame
The Sac-Joaquin Section Hall of Fame will induct 32 members on Sunday at Sleep Train Arena. The local entries include: