Detroit Lions Jerseys Zach Zenner hasn’t decided whether he’ll stick to his original plan and go to medical school when his NFL playing days are done.
But no matter what career he pursues after football, the Detroit Lions running back called “Doc” by his teammates said he wants to do something in the medical profession.
That’s why Zenner, who deferred enrollment in medical school two years ago in order to pursue his football dreams with the Lions, will spend his second straight off-season taking part in a research project at a Detroit hospital.
“I love the healthcare field,” cheap jerseys Zenner said as he cleaned out his locker at the Lions’ Allen Park practice facility last week. “I’m really interested in that, and no matter what profession you want to go into, these research experiences and publications are invaluable. It really speaks a lot to your resume to have a publication or lab experiences, shows the scientific process. You’ve been through it. There’s a problem, how do you attack the problem? Communicating your results. The work it takes to get results, you have to — just like everything else, it’s work.”
Last year, Zenner spent most of the spring as a student volunteer at Henry Ford Hospital, studying how fructose and salt impact hypertension levels in lab rats. He said his work from that study will be published in a medical journal in the coming months.
This year, Zenner has signed on to do another project through the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Detroit. Zenner said this study, which does not yet have a start date, involves doing ultrasounds of rat arteries with Dr. Noreen Rossi.
“I think it’s important to (do these kind of projects), not only for the career aspect of it — kind of building the resume — but also, mentally, for the
cheap nfl jerseys brain,” Zenner said. “It’s a totally different type of mental exercise than preparing for a defense. You can make similarities between the two in just the fact that football isn’t just a running straight, ramming your head against brick wall over and over. (There are) a lot of mental aspects to football, as well, but it’s just totally different from that.”
While Zenner’s main focus is football, he said the NFL’s off-season calendar allows him to juggle two of his passions like he did when he was a biology major at South Dakota State.
“Put it this way: There’s no way I would be able to do this in-season,” Zenner said.
On the football field, Zenner established himself as a dependable NFL running back this season, after cracked ribs and a collapsed lung limited him to just six games and 17 carries as a rookie. He opened the season as the Lions’ fourth-string running back but took over as the starter late in the year, after injuries to Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick thinned the backfield and Dwayne Washington struggled through inconsistent play.
Zenner set career highs with 67 and 69 yards rushing in losses to the Dallas Cowboys and Green Bay Packers to close the regular season, then led the
Customized Jerseys Lions with six catches for 54 yards in a playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks.
For the season, he finished with 88 carries for 334 yards. He averaged 10.9 yards on his 18 catches.
“This season, I think, was really good to get a lot of the experience that I got,” Zenner said. “If you look at the opportunities that I was given, it doesn’t get much better than that in the NFL, as far as having an opportunity to show what you can do. So, very appreciative of those opportunities. I’m looking forward to next year.”
Abdullah (foot) and Riddick (wrist) are expected back healthy in 2017, and Lions general manager Bob Quinn has acknowledged he wants to upgrade the running game this off-season. But Zenner, one of the team’s best pass-protecting backs and a core special teams player, still should have an opportunity to earn an expanded role next season.
“The NFL is — people come and go. You’ve got to keep working; you have to earn your spot every time,” Zenner said. “So although those were good NCAA Jerseys wholesale opportunities that I think I took advantage of as best I could, I’m still going to need to keep taking advantage of the opportunities in the future. Nothing’s going to be handed to me or given to me. That’s the way the NFL is and that’s one of the reasons why I like it so much.”
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