Redskins tight end Niles Paul says the doctor who surgically repaired his gruesome ankle injury is surprised by how well it's healing.
“Saw Dr. Anderson today,” Paul wrote on Twitter late Thursday, referring to Dr. Robert Anderson, the noted Charlotte-based foot and ankle surgeon. “He said my ankle injury was the worst he’s ever seen. Was surprised by my progress. Maybe I’m not human.”
Paul added another tweet a few hours later, aiming to clarify his status.
“Some misunderstood that tweet,” Paul wrote. “Doc was surprise[d] when I told him I was running, cutting, jumping & even hoopin again.”
Paul also wrote that the follow-up visit with Anderson was scheduled to be his last.
Last August, just days after being named the team’s starting tight end, Paul suffered a dislocated and fractured left ankle in a preseason game, ending his season before it began.
Coach Jay Gruden recently said that Paul is recovering nicely but might be held out until training camp in late July—just to be safe.
“It’s just a matter of him getting his strength back in his leg and obviously getting his weight back up to where it was,” Gruden said at the NFL owners meetings. “He was close to 255-260 pounds before he got hurt and he was strong as an ox, and we’ve just got to make sure he gets back to that strength level and see where he is.”
Gruden added: “It was a big loss for us when we lost him, not just for the tight end spot, but for special teams and Niles is so versatile. He can play the fullback. He can play move tight end, split outside. He can do a little bit of everything. So I would think [returning in] training camp would be the right spot for him.”
The Redskins’ current depth chart at tight end includes six players: Jordan Reed, recently-signed Vernon Davis, Paul, Derek Carrier, Logan Paulsen and Marcel Jensen. Carrier is could be sidelined into the season due to a significant knee injury, while Paulsen has been medically cleared to return after missing 2015 with a toe injury.