Jaguars’ Ryquell Armstead near return from post-COVID myocarditis

Ryquell Armstead is on the precipice of returning from a bout of myocarditis sustained after contracting COVID-19 last year. The Jaguars running back found a silver lining in the affliction.

“It was a blessing in disguise,” Armstead told ESPN. “I got to sit back and enjoy my family, enjoy my kids, just do what they want to do. Be a dad. Just not take anything for granted.

“I cherish every moment now, and when it was time for me to step up out of my comfort zone and get back to where I need to be, I took that step. I was outside every day working out at 6 in the morning. Whether or not I knew I was going to get picked up or not, I was out there working by myself.”

Armstead has had quite the journey. A fifth-round pick out of Temple in the 2019 NFL Draft, he appeared in 16 games for the Jaguars in his rookie season, starting one, and rushing for a total of 108 yards.

Last year, he was diagnosed with myocarditis, a heart muscle inflammation which can be a side effect of COVID-19, and missed the entire season. Armstead was cut this past offseason, spent time with the Giants, Saints and Packers (who signed him to their practice squad), and is now back with the Jaguars as Carlos Hyde has gone on injured reserve.

Jaguars running back Ryquell Armstead is on the cusp of returning after developing Myocarditis following COVID-19.
JAMES GILBERT PHOTO

“I had a goal,” Armstead said. “I had a vision. I had an endgame. And this was the endgame. I’m here. I’m back on a 53 [man] roster. I’m back active, and like I said I’m blessed. My mental is so strong that none of this fazed me. I just keep going.”