Buffalo Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins spoke about his experience with COVID-19 in a conversation with reporters on Tuesday.
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Among other things, Dawkins revealed that he spent four days in the hospital.
"Being in the hospital was probably the hardest part," Dawkins said, per Emily Adams of USA Today. "I was like man, I'm in the hospital, my team is out there working and I'm here. I'm not helping if I'm not present. They had me on fluids. They were just trying to get me back."
Dawkins said he had shortness of breath, fever, chills, a cough and was dehydrated, and he was even unsure he would ever recover.
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"I don't want to scare anybody, but there were moments where I was like 'I don't know if I'm going to make this.'"<br><br>Dion Dawkins incredibly open and honest about his battle with COVID, one that had him in the hospital 4 days.<br><br>"Life can be over before you know it."<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Bills?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Bills</a> <a href="https://t.co/aXD2UqToFT">pic.twitter.com/aXD2UqToFT</a>
Dawkins had just received his second shot when he tested positive for COVID-19, but he was not yet through the two-week window to be considered "fully vaccinated" yet, per Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic. He went on the COVID-19 list on July 28.
He said he was glad he got vaccinated and had this message for people who are considering whether to get the vaccine, "Try to think about others." He also said he shared his experience of having the virus with his teammates: "I just told them the honest truth of what I went through. ... Letting them understand that that's a point that you really don't wanna get to."
Dawkins is now working his way back to full strength but has a long way to go, per head coach Sean McDermott on Sunday.
"He's not close to where he needs to be to play and help us," McDermott said, per Jay Skurski of the Buffalo News. "He's got a long road here. He's going to control what he can control, and so are we. He's got to continue to work hard to get himself back to where he's—I mean, this is what, going on week four of training camp at this point? So, he's missed a lot of time."
Dawkins said he fell from 330-334 pounds to 318 while suffering from COVID-19, per Sal Capaccio of WGR 550.
The ex-Temple star has started every game for the Bills since Nov. 12, 2017. He's taken part in all 67 of the team's regular-season and playoff matchups since Buffalo selected him with the No. 63 overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
Dawkins played an integral role last year in the Bills finishing 13-3, winning the AFC East and reaching the AFC Championship Game. Buffalo finished second in points per game thanks in part to its stout offensive line.
The Bills will start the regular season on Sunday, Sept. 12 at home against the Pittsburgh Steelers.