Kevon Seymour wants to tell his story. All of it. From the Snake Pits of Northwest Pasadena to USC as a 4-star recruit to the NFL, the ride has been as wild as any you'll hear. A sixth-round draft pick by the Buffalo Bills in 2016, Seymour had a normal, solid rookie season. He played 15 games at cornerback, started in three of them. It was good. It felt right.
And then he was called into the office and was told he was traded to Carolina for the 2017 season and, even there, he played a season with another two starts and 16 games and good reps on special teams and his arrow was pointing in the right direction.
From that point on, though, it's been crazy. And trying. Oh, it's been trying.
"Since 2017, I've been dealing with a lot of adversity, dealing with the injury bug and going through a lot of adversity, a lot of surgeries," Seymour said. "It's all been worth it. Praise due to the most high. I was able to keep my faith and keep believing in myself and at the same time keeping myself in shape and knowing that when I got my next opportunity, I would take advantage of it."
In 2018, Seymour went through Training Camp and the preseason with the Panthers and was then called into the office of General Manager Marty Hurney and was told that the Panthers were planning to place him on season-ending Injured Reserve to have surgery on torn labrums in both shoulders that he had been playing with since his college days. His shoulders would pop out in practice, but Seymour would recover after a day or so and the beat would go on.
But then the surgeries started – his right shoulder in September of 2018 and his left shoulder a month later – and he spent the next six to nine months rehabbing. His 2018 was gone. But a torn wrist ligament required surgery in the summer of 2019 and he was unable to do a pushup. On top of that, Seymour suffered a Grade 2 tear of his hamstring and the injuries just became too much. Carolina released him and he spent the entire '19 year out of work, a husband and a father of three young children paying his bills and keeping the faith, and his dream, alive.
Seymour couldn't pass a physical, wasn't able to work out for any team. Not until just after Thanksgiving, not even a month ago, did the right opportunity come along. The Eagles called Seymour and he worked out and signed with the practice squad on December 2 and, bam, 10 days later he was promoted to the active roster on December 12 and he played a day later, on Sunday, against the New Orleans Saints.
That was Seymour out there on Sunday at Lincoln Financial Field, No. 41, playing cornerback against wide receiver Michael Thomas, relying on instincts and a couple of weeks of studying the system. It was an emergency situation for the Eagles, and it was an opportunity of a lifetime – again – for Seymour.
"I always knew going into that game there was a strong possibility that I would play," Seymour said. "They had me on special teams, but I just knew I would have a chance to play on defense. I was prepared as I could be. It was my moment to show myself and be a factor. I wanted to prove that I belong. I was out there making plays, making tackles. The big thing for me was to show them that I'm healthy, that I can get off blocks, that I can make tackles, that I can still run and be the player that the Eagles thought I could be when they signed me.
"After the game, after the win, I'm driving home and my wife is telling me how proud she was of me. I was talking to my twin brother (Keon) and he was saying that I looked the part, that I looked like I hadn't skipped a beat. I wanted to earn the respect of my coaches and my teammates. I came a long way. I've been through a lot of ups and downs and adversity, so it didn't faze me being out there. I knew I would have this opportunity again. It was a matter of time and a matter of being ready and capitalizing. God gave me another chance to showcase my skills and I took advantage of it."
Seymour is going to have more chances going forward with cornerback Avonte Maddox out for "a couple of weeks," said Head Coach Doug Pederson on Monday, and with starter Darius Slay in concussion protocol. Seymour has nice size at 6-feet, 185 pounds, and he certainly has something to play for. He has a family to support, and he wants to give his kids more than he had growing up in the projects. He wants to succeed for the name on his back.
He is on his way, a portrait in determination and pursuing the dream.
"He's got good size and like any corner – he gave up a touchdown pass, he didn't let that affect him at all," Defensive Coordinator Jim Schwartz said. "Came back and continued to battle and played physical football. I was proud of him for that. It was a great step for his career. He'd sort of been sidetracked a little bit but to get back on the field and play winning football, that's a real tip of the cap to him, staying ready, keeping his faith through some tough times, and he was rewarded for that and we were rewarded for that."
Said Seymour: "I'm just preparing to be the best version of myself, the best version of Kevon Seymour on that field. Every week, every day, I'm trying to be better for myself, and if I'm better, everyone around me is better. I take none of this for granted. All of those hard times, I love it all. I attack every day like it's my last. That's me."