Shead to help Saints in playoffs
Kids in Palmdale and across the Valley have long believed that DeShawn Shead wears a halo, not a helmet.
The New Orleans Saints have now confirmed it.
In an early Christmas present, the first Valley resident to win a Super Bowl ring was signed by the Saints on Christmas Eve.
Highland’s favorite son played against the Carolina Panthers Sunday, and will be on the field in the Mercedes Benz Superdome this Sunday for the NFC Wildcard Playoff Game against the Minnesota Vikings.
“I got a call and I was on a flight to New Orleans Christmas Eve,” Shead said. “I’m going to make the best of this opportunity.”
Shead had an outstanding preseason in his second tour of duty with the Seattle Seahawks last August.
In a game against the Denver Broncos, he had a pick-six and a sack.
Though he demonstrated he was clearly recovered from the devastating ACL injury he suffered in the 2015 playoffs — Shead is faster now — Seattle cut him in the final roster trim down to 53 players.
“I was working out every day like I was still in the league,” said Highland’s most decorated NFL postgraduate. “I never lost faith that I would get back in the League.”
There are many ironies at work Sunday.
Injuries to Von Bell and
Eli Apple prompted New Orleans general manager Mickey Loomis to reach out to Shead, who was still living in Seattle. Sherri Tatum’s son can play all three defensive backfield positions.
When he came off the Seattle practice squad in 2013, it was against the New Orleans Saints on a December Monday nighter.
The Seahawks rolled from there.
Shead was a Portland State Viking standout in college.
Minnesota tried to sign him off the Seattle practice squad. But Shead opted to stay with the Seahawks.
Patience and perseverance got him where he wanted to be.
The founder of the Shead the Light Foundation stressed those values to the 155 kids at his camp, all of whom were paid for by Shead’s deep generosity.
Now he’s walking the walk again.
Maybe, all the way to Super Bowl LIV.
NEW TEAM Former Seahawks strong safety DeShawn Shead plays against the Oakland Raiders on Thursday. Shead was picked up by the Saints on Christmas Eve.