It's now been two straight lost seasons for Buffalo Bills wide receiver Marquise Goodwin.
Broken ribs limited him to just two games in 2015. That followed a 2014 season in which he finished with just one catch.
While Bills fans may have written off Goodwin from ever becoming the player the team hoped he'd be when he was drafted in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft, his confidence has not been shaken.
"I mean, I don't think it's really much proving I need to do on the field," he said. "I'm still here for a reason. If I couldn't do what I need to do on the field, I wouldn't be here."
Goodwin said the injury he dealt with this season was "totally out of my control."
"It wasn't me not taking care of my body or having any muscular difficulties, it was all based off of skeletal, you know?" he said. "Just took advantage of the time I had off, caught up with my family, spent time with my fiance. Worked on the mental piece, you know what I mean? Getting mentally strong, mentally tough. Learning how to bounce back from adverstity, that's one of the key things for me. Just learning to overcome obstacles that I really had no control over."
Goodwin said he's been fully healed and training for the past six weeks. He plans to participate in track and field this offseason, first at the USA Indoor Track & Field Championships in Portland in March. Later in the year, he'll return to Oregon to compete in the U.S. Olympic team trials, which will be held in Eugene in early July. There, he'll attempt to qualify for a spot to represent Team USA at the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, which will be held from Aug. 5-21.
"Just trying to accomplish all the dreams I set out to do while I can, while I'm still able bodied," Goodwin said. "As I've mentioned plenty of times before, I've got a sister who never walked a day in her life, and if she had the ability to do something, she would do it to the best of her ability, everything she could. So why not take advantage of what I have – the blessings that I was blessed with instead of just limiting myself to just football when I can do two sports."
If Goodwin were to qualify for Rio, he'd miss a chunk of training camp.
"That's for me to discuss with coach and the staff," he said. "If that's what it takes and if everybody is on board, then that's what's going to happen."
Goodwin missed the first four weeks of this season, then doubled his output from a year ago with two catches against Tennessee in Week Five. He hurt his ribs again the following week and didn't find out he was placed on injured reserve until reading it online.
"That's part of the business and that's how it is," he said. "I'm fine with that. I'm cool with it. I wish I could have been here. I watched many, many weeks on TV. ... It was tough for me, because I knew I could have been out here helping the team. Even if you don't throw me the ball, dudes going to back up, so the running game could be better, you know what I'm saying? Because they don't want to get beat deep by me."
Goodwin has one year remaining on his contract, so chances are he'll be back to at least compete for a roster spot. But if the team decides to move on, he's not worried about what will happen next.
"Honestly, I don't worry about anything. I'm the fastest dude in the league, so somebody wll want me," he said. "Hopefully the Bills want to keep me, but somebody's going to want me at the end of the day, and if not, then that's just the plan God had for me. I kind of just let God do his work, I don't question it."
After Goodwin was hurt against Cincinnati, he took an avalanche of criticism on Twitter, with fans calling him "Glass" Goodwin.
"I thrive off of that kind of stuff," he said. "I love to prove people like you and other people who doubt me, wrong. That being said, I used to take it personal. I really don't anymore, because people who have personal issues with me, they usually call me or text me, so if you can tweet something to me and not be able to contact me via, like, in my circle, then it really don't matter because you don't know me to judge me.
"To say that I suck in football or call me 'Glass' Goodwin, or if I drop a pass, say, I dropped it like a hot potato? ... You've kind of got to take it with a grain of salt. Even the positive stuff – I don't let people amp me up and I don't get too low. I kind of just stay focused on what I need to do and I smile about it. I try to be a nice guy, say hello to everybody and be respectful, good things continue to happen for me. So I don't really too much feed into negative stuff, I just stay positive in my own mind."
Story topics: Marquise Goodwin