Fresh off one injury, the only local player currently an active member of a National Football League roster came within a mere two seconds shy of enduring another perhaps more heartbreaking one.
Mooresville High School football program alumnus J.R. Sweezy was on the field doing what he was asked to do when his Arizona Cardinals pulled off one of the most stunning successful finishes of the NFL’s entire season to date.
Down to those very few final seconds of regulation play, the Cardinals used all but the last two of the final 34 seconds of their last possession of the game to stun the visiting Buffalo Bills, 34-32, on a game-deciding play that was also deemed to be the best of the day n the entire league.
The Cardinals cashed in on a Hail Mary pass play to overcome a deficit that turned what had all the appearances of defeat into a most memorable win. Arizona went the final 75 yards in just 32 seconds to pull off the startling comeback.
Mooresville’s Sweezy was back among the ones relishing the effort. Forced out of action and to the sidelines for a month due to an elbow injury that placed him on the team’s injured list making him ineligible to participate, the regular starting offensive right guard was restored to the active duty list just one day before the game was played. The second-season member of the team was re-activated just in time to return to his usual starting position for the game.
Seeing the bulk of action once again at the offensive linemen slot, Sweezy was on the field and fulfilling his blocking assignment on the game’s final whirlwind game-winning play.
It marked his first appearance back on the field since suffering the injury during the season’s earlier game against the New York Jets. He was forced to miss the team’s previous three games while also using a timely scheduled open date to assist with his recovery process.
He was able to return just in time to be a part of a stirring showing on the part of the home team.
After losing the lead during the course of the final near half-minute of regulation play, Arizona pulled off the near miracle victory to also set the stage for the makings of a major showdown on tap for later this week.
So stirring was the final winning play that featured the eventual Arizona receiver outdueling as many as three defenders to haul in the catch in the end zone with a mere two seconds left to play that it was deemed the number one play of the day on the part of the Entertainment and Sports Programming Network – A.K.A ESPN -- Monday morning SportsCenter broadcast.. As an added plus, some NFL experts are also already calling the play the best one of the season so far in the NFL.
The Cardinals will be next be appearing in their third primetime game of the season when taking on the host and arch rival Seattle Seahawks with outright first-place on the line in the NFL’s ultra-competitive National Football Conference West Division at stake. Both Arizona and Seattle, two of the three teams within the four-entry division owning better than a break-even record to make it the lone one in the NFL to make such a boast, each take matching division-leading 6-3 records into Thursday night’s scheduled meeting.
The two teams will be hard-pressed to duplicate what transpired when they last got together earlier this season.
Then, in a game played at Arizona back on Week 7 in October that was also by necessity pushed into the primetime viewing time frame, the Cardinals prevailed in overtime by a 37-34 count that helped plant the victors as the surprise team of the season so far. The favorable outcome also improved the victor’s record to the 2-0 level in night-time appearances.
By all indications, Mooresville’s Sweezy is on tap to be in Arizona’s starting lineup for Thursday’s marquee meeting slated to be nationally televised on the FOX Sports Network.
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