Kahzin Daniels is completely blind in one eye, but starting this Sunday, he could be playing defense for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Undrafted out of Division II Charleston (WV), the rookie outside linebacker was promoted from the practice squad to the Bucs' active roster Wednesday, and with veterans Carl Nassib and Anthony Nelson nursing injuries, he figures to make his NFL debut in Week 10 against the Arizona Cardinals -- almost two decades after he lost sight in his right eye.
When Daniels was 5, he collided with a pole while riding a scooter, and the accident left him without any vision in that eye, as detailed by NFL Network in April. Most people throughout Daniels' high school and college careers were unaware that he battled partial blindness, but that didn't stop him from racking up 34.5 sacks across four years at Charleston. Even NFL scouts didn't realize Daniels' condition while evaluating him during draft season.
And yet here he is, set to line up for Todd Bowles' defense on Sunday. Converted to OLB after playing defensive end in college, Daniels originally joined Tampa Bay as a rookie free agent signing after the draft. Released as part of the Bucs' final cuts in September, he returned to the team via the practice squad in October and had remained there until his promotion this week.
"I feel like my story serves as a huge inspiration for kids who are very impressionable," Daniels said in a video for the Buccaneers over the summer. "They see a superhero and they say, 'Oh, I want to be just like that superhero.' For people with quote-unquote disabilities and things like that, I'm just their voice right now, for people to say, 'Kahzin Daniels is doing great things, and he has one eye. Why can't I do that?'"