As former St. Louis Rams wide receiver Stedman Bailey jogged off the field of the Chris Cline Indoor Athletic Complex following Marshall’s Pro Day, he couldn’t help smile. That smile even became a laugh when a comment was made about Bailey — a former West Virginia University star — wearing a Marshall shirt during the event. “I don’t think the Mountaineers would be happy to see this, but at the same time, those guys and everybody back in Morgantown knows what kind of mission I’m on,” Bailey said. “This is the first opportunity for me to show scouts what I’ve got and how I’m feeling. I don’t care about the colors. I’m just here to capitalize on the opportunity.” If you knew where Bailey had been over the last two-and-a-half years, you’d know the reason behind his smile. The fact that Bailey was out running routes and hauling in passes from Marshall quarterback Chase Litton was story-worthy enough on Wednesday. On Nov. 24, 2015, Bailey — then a third-year wide receiver with the St. Louis Rams (now Los Angeles Rams) — was a passenger in a car outside of a residence in Miami Gardens, Florida, when a vehicle approached and someone inside opened fire. Bailey was shot twice in the head and ended up in critical condition as a result of the shooting. While his injuries were not considered life-threatening at the time, the consensus thinking was that the severity of the injuries would end his football career. That consensus, however, did not include Bailey, who said that the decision to make a comeback began as soon as he regained all of his knowledge of what was happening following the traumatic incident. Even if doctors didn’t agree with his thoughts, Bailey knew in his heart what his goals would be. And that was to play in the NFL once again. “I never had a doubt in my mind that I’d be able to play again,” Bailey said. “It kind of hurt with reports from doctors that I may not be able to walk or I may have trouble speaking again. Me, just being a positive person that I am, I just waved those reports off like, ‘OK, we’ll see.’ I set it in my mind to show them differently.
Ex-NFL, WVU receiver Stedman Bailey seeks NFL return, three years after getting shot in the head
The Herald-Dispatch | Mar 8