ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WIVB) – Dawson Knox’s touchdown catch against the Chargers was personal.
“I was very thankful just to be back in the end zone and just finally make that first big play this year. Just after a couple little minor injuries, COVID, it just felt like this year has kind of been a roller coaster so making that play definitely was nice just to kind of start going back in the right direction,” Bills tight end Dawson Knox said on a zoom call with News 4.
“I think it just set me off on the right foot for the rest of the season you know for these next five or six games and into the playoffs.”
Coming into his second season in the NFL Knox had high expectations for himself.
Before the season even started, Knox outlined what he wanted to improve this year and what he did during the offseason to do it. One example is he knew he had a problem with drops in 2019 and explained how he spent a good portion of the offseason working with a jugs and spending time going through other drills.
So mentally, Knox was in the right place but physically things started to take a turn. In week two against the Dolphins, Knox suffered a concussion then in week five against the Titans, he suffered a calf injury.
“Coming into this year I was really excited to already have the playbook kind of down for the most part, having all the basics, already having established a relationship with Josh on the field. I wasn’t really able to catch a break. As soon as I started feeling kind of good again it was like something would happen out of nowhere,” Knox said.
As if that wasn’t tough enough, then Knox was the first Bills’ player to test positive for COVID-19.
“I had some symptoms for like the first day, I had a headache and a low-grade fever, but then after that first day I started feeling normal again. It was pretty quick, it wasn’t too far off from a common cold,” Knox explained.
“Thankfully it was very quick, I’d say within two or three days I was feeling completely normal. It took about a week to feel like I got my cardio back right, like I felt pretty out of shape pretty quickly. But right now I feel like it might as well not have happened.”
Knox was placed on the NFL’s Reserve/COVID-19 list on October 24th, the day before they played the Jets in week seven at MetLife Stadium.
“I got the phone call super early in the morning that I tested positive and at the time I was feeling fine. It kind of hit me as the day went on you know a couple of those symptoms but I had to spend hours on the phone explaining who I might have come into contact with, what type of food we ate, whether or not we were sharing like french fries or something,” Knox said.
“It was just a long process to try and eliminate who might have been in close contact and who wasn’t so yeah it was just a nightmare for that first day or so but just very thankful that’s all behind me now.”
Unfortunately, Knox’s fellow tight end, Tommy Sweeney can’t say the same. Sweeney was diagnosed with myocarditis, a heart condition related to COVID-19.
“I feel terrible for Tommy and that situation that was just out of his control, super frustrating for him so we’re definitely praying for him,” Knox said.
“He’s one of my best buddies on the team. We roomed together last year during the summer as we first got here. We watched the last season of Game of Thrones together as it was coming out. Even during the offseason we made it a point to hang out a couple times, worked out together, do whatever.”
As for Knox, he’s hoping these setbacks are finally in the past.
“I feel great now, that touchdown I feel like was the starting point for the rest of the season for me just to keep stacking good games, stacking good plays. Thankfully I feel healthy, thankfully I have the COVID antibodies so definitely praying that nothing else happens for the rest of the year to hold me back from getting out there and doing what I love,” Knox explained.
“I just think those things are meant to help me be stronger as a person, be stronger as a football player so it’s hard while you’re in the middle of it but just trying to look at it with a positive light.”