NFL, MLB, CFL stats

Jorrick Calvin Set For Return to Action

June 14, 2013 - Arena Football League (AFL) - Chicago Rush News Release

Jorrick Calvin stood perhaps two yards from the line of scrimmage during Thursday's practice in Palatine. As the motion receiver barreled toward him, Calvin began back stepping gracefully to keep in tune with the wide receiver's quick pace. As the wide receiver began to cross the field, it looked like he had a step on Calvin. Think again. The Rush defensive back, still the Arena Football League's leading tackler despite sitting out last week's win, extended one arm outward and swatted the ball away before doing a roll against the wall. Most important, after suffering a vicious hit in Orlando, Calvin got up quickly and went back to work. That's a far departure from where Calvin was on the first of the month, when lying on the turf at the Amway Center, one terrifying thought tore through his mind.

"I hope I'm not paralyzed," Calvin recalls thinking. It was a frightening prospect, a rude interruption to what had been a dream season for Calvin.

"It was scary. A lot of things went to my head, like I hope I'll be able to walk again, but thankfully, God was over me and he was watching me," Calvin said. "The first initial hit, I knew there was something terribly wrong, because just from that first impression, you think everything. I thought something bad happened. That's why they brought me off on a stretcher, but as I got to the hospital, I started to feel better."

In the darkest moments following his injury in the Jungle, worried fans clustered to Facebook to see how their star defensive back was doing. Looking back, Calvin appreciates the love, which came through on his phone as well, where he said he received "a lot" of text messages.

"It feels great," Calvin said. "That's my main thing is to get the fans here and if it's just by them liking my play, then that's great because we want to get that fan base big, give a good game, so just to see the fans take the time out to see if I was doing good, it means a lot to me and my family. I appreciate everything, all the prayers and everything they've done."

For Calvin, what started as a scare turned into a terrible bother - as he was forced to watch teammate Semaj Moody take his place against the Blaze last week.

"Of course, it was a scare for me and my teammates," Calvin said. "I know the fans were very worried. I tried to get back on Facebook and let them know. I just had to sit out and take time and then (this) week, I'll be back strong."

That's not to say that Calvin accepted his time off of the field. He didn't really sit on the bench; rather, he wandered. Calvin was not the quietest man on the bench during his brief time there. Coach Bob


McMillen laughed a little in regards to Calvin's manic energy on the bench. Calvin spent most of his time perched right up against the wall, chirping away at his teammates, singing, dancing and imploring them to do better. He also made a few desperate pleas toward his coach to let him play.

"J.C. is a guy that loves competing and loves being out on the football field," McMillen said. "He was a little dinged up last week, and to have him come back and be part of our defense, which I think is playing a lot better week in and week out, having him back there just makes us better."

Calvin's energy is somewhat irrepressible. Calvin, of course, was not supposed to take part in Chicago's victory over Utah, yet somehow when Vic Hall snared a diving interception in the end zone, Calvin was on the field too - or shortly thereafter, anyway, tapping Hall on the helmet and getting as excited as the rest of his teammates.

"If you talk to the guys, they'll tell you I'm very, very active in practice," Calvin said. "They're going to get me every day." As nice as it was having Calvin cheering them on from the sideline, the Rush are grateful to have Calvin back where he belongs - in their backfield. The Chicago backfield has been playing its best ball of the season, holding its last three opponents to a 98.9 passer rating, including six interceptions.

Against Utah, the Rush reached their sharpest point yet, perhaps, with eight pass breakups and two interceptions. Defensive back Josh Pleasant had a diving deflection on fourth-and-goal. Linebacker Kelvin Morris had an interception. Hall was all over the place. Now, they return perhaps their top weapon: Jorrick Calvin.

"Now, you've got four solid defensive backs in Vic, Semaj and Josh," McMillen said. "With J.C. back there, it just makes us better. It gives us a lot more versatility to do a lot more things."

• Discuss this story on the Arena Football League message board...

Arena Football League Stories from June 14, 2013

The opinions expressed in this release are those of the organization issuing it, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts or opinions of OurSports Central or its staff.

Other Recent Chicago Rush Stories

Sports Statistics from the Stats Crew
OurSports Central