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Buffalo Bills’ Dion Dawkins facing ‘long road’ in return from COVID

Bills Dion Dawkins celebrates with fans after Buffalo beat the Ravens 17-3.

Jg 011620 Bills 11
Bills Dion Dawkins celebrates with fans after Buffalo beat the Ravens 17-3. Jg 011620 Bills 11

Buffalo Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins was hospitalized for four days and lost 16 pounds during his bout with COVID-19 earlier this summer.

He was activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Thursday. He was put on the list the day before Buffalo’s first training camp practice on July 28.

Dawkins on Tuesday said his fight with the virus was “one of the lowest points that I’ve ever been.”

“I don’t want to scare anybody, but there were moments where I was like, ‘I don’t know if I’m going to make this,'” Dawkins said. “Life can be over before you know it.”

Dawkins said he tested positive for COVID after he got the second vaccine shot but before two weeks had surpassed to be considered fully vaccinated.

“I can’t imagine people who aren’t healthy that deal with this,” Dawkins said. “I didn’t know my mind could get to the low it did. I was extremely emotional … I was down bad. I could barely move.”

Dawkins also said he spoke with teammate and wide receiver Cole Beasley, who has been outspoken against the vaccine.

“For Bease, it just wasn’t enough for him to make a decision,” Dawkins said. “I don’t think he was downplaying it.”

Bills head coach Sean McDermott said Dawkins has a “long road” ahead to regain his playing weight and form.

“He’s not close to where he needs to be to play and help us,” McDermott said. “So he’s got a long road here. He’s got to continue to work hard to get himself back to where he’s — I mean, this is what, going on Week 4 of training camp at this point, so he’s missed a lot of time.”

A second-round pick in 2017, Dawkins has played in all 64 regular-season games (59 starts) and five playoff games in the past four seasons.

In August 2020 he signed a four-year, $60 million contract extension through the 2024 season.

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–Field Level Media