Clifton Smith takes to boxing on way back from concussions

Two concussions sidelined Tampa Bay Buccaneers return specialist Clifton Smith last season. The former Pro Bowl performer is determined to make it back though, and he’s taken up boxing as a way to prepare for the coming season.

The former undrafted free agent was placed on injured reserve Dec. 8 after his second concussion in a span of seven weeks. He had performed well, averaging 29.1 yards per return, the second-best figure in franchise history, for a struggling team that was able to return plenty of kickoffs.

He would like to get into the mix for some action in the backfield this season, according to Joe Smith of the St. Petersburg Times, but he knows the focus for many will be on his health and condition. Once a player has had multiple concussions, he is more prone to have successive brain injuries.

"If you're worried about concussions, you can't play this game," Smith said. "You can't play this game scared and worried. You've got to strap it up and go full speed."

With that in mind, he’s doing work in the gym too as he prepares to come back as sharp as before.

“I'm no (Floyd) Mayweather," Smith said. "But I'm all right.”

Hopefully, his head is all right too.

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