Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Kendrick Norton is speaking out from his hospital bed -- saying even though he lost his arm in a July 4 car crash, he feels grateful to be alive.
"I'm alive," Norton told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench ... "If nothing else, I'm alive."
Norton's voice was shaking as he gave the interview -- his left arm severed around the elbow -- but somehow, he's found a way to stay positive.
"I'm doing fine. I'm doing the best I can," Norton said from the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital, with his grandparents and father by his side.
22-year-old Norton -- a 7th-round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft -- says the reality is sinking in that he'll never play football again, but he's trying to figure out another purpose in life.
"It's not realistic that I'm going to play football anymore. We're working past that."
"We're going to be doing a blood drive," Norton said ... noting that he's looking for ways to help and inspire others going through a similar experience.
As we previously reported, Norton and his female passenger were badly injured when he lost control of his F-250 truck on a Miami highway in the early hours of July 4. Norton's left arm was amputated.