By DJ Moore
It was my first year out of Chicago. I was in Charlotte, North Carolina, playing with the Carolina Panthers. I was excited because I had been fortunate enough to play for my hometown team. The Panther’s facility is one hour from where I grew up, and they hold training camp in the very town where I’m from – Spartanburg, SC on Wofford College campus. I had made it through the dog days of training camp and the season was up next.
The first game finally arrived, and we were playing the Seahawks. It was Sept 8, 2013, on a hot day in Charlotte. I was playing nickel as I always did on third downs. This particular game one of the starting safeties was injured, so I was asked to step in at free safety. Someone told me the more you can do, the better, so I learned every position I could play. I was the backup corner, nickel and safety. I played free safety for a couple of series, and everything was going great. Not to mention, I didn’t have to tackle beast mode because our front 7 were dominant all game. With no warning, my world was suddenly flipped upside down.
We had just forced Seattle into a fourth-down situation. I was walking off the field when all of a sudden, I could not see straight. I almost fell, but I caught myself. I paused for a moment to see what I could do not to fall. I started walking in the opposite direction that I felt the world was pulling me. I finally got to the bench, not saying much but dealing with what was happening to my view of the world. I’m puzzled because I have not tackled anyone all game. I wondered what could have caused my world to turn right side up. I sat thinking and hoping that I would regain my vision as I needed to continue playing. Coach yells, “Punt alert,” I only had one play to get myself together. Right before we were to walk back on the field, my view of the world snapped back into place. I went back into the game and finished it out. To this day, I’m not sure what happened to me.
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