Since 2011, Detroit Lions defensive backs Ron Bartell and Louis Delmas have missed a combined total of 37 games because of injuries. Delmas, who has been with the Lions since 2009, has been dogged by knee problems. Bartell, who only joined the Lions at the end of last season, has dealt with a couple of major injuries that forced him to miss an extended amount of time.
Despite their experiences with injuries, Bartell and Delmas don't have any interest in changing their playing style. Bartell, who suffered a fractured neck in 2011 and a broken shoulder blade in 2012, recently told the Free Press that since his injuries were "kind of freak accidents," his aggressive, physical playing style isn't going to change.
"I’m not going to change the way I play," he said. "I’m going to always tackle, be aggressive, be physical and try to disrupt the wide receivers. Like I said, that’s how I made a living in this league, that’s how I’ve been able to stick around nine years so I’m not going to change that now."
Delmas, on the other hand, has dealt with nagging injuries in his knees. Even so, he also doesn't have any plans to change the way he plays. From MLive:
"My coaches and a lot of people that know me have been trying to ask if the knee will change my style of play," Delmas told ESPN Radio's Sean Baligian. "But I've been playing this game since I was 8 years old and the only way I know how to play is full speed." [...]
"When I get to the ball, I create havoc," Delmas said. "So I definitely won't be changing up my style of play."
There's a reason Delmas is nicknamed "Da Missile." He flies around the field and tries to hit everything in sight. Although I suppose that could potentially lead to injuries, would Delmas be as effective as a safety if he attempted to go away from the only style he's known over the years? The Lions obviously want him to be healthy, but I'm sure they also want him to play like "Da Missile" and not somebody who isn't nearly as physical.