RICHMOND—It looked like a great play during what otherwise was an unremarkable, workmanlike Redskins practice session.
Running back Chris Thompson took a handoff and flashed his speed as he burst through the line. If you let your imagination run wild you could see him rolling through the Rams secondary for 61 yards and a touchdown or making any number of the other big plays he made last year.
However, the play was not as impressive as it first appeared. Looking at a later play from a different angle, it was clear that the defense was not trying to stop Thompson, who was participating in his first 11 on 11 practice session since he suffered a broken right fibula in the Superdome on November 19.
“The defensive coaches told the guys that I was practicing today and not to even touch me,” said Thompson. “When they got close to me they were stopping, backing up, moving away. My coaches and teammates have been taking good care of me, especially mentally.”
Thompson said that his recovery from the injury has been a “tough journey”. Rehab was something that he had grown accustomed to over his first two years in the league as injuries kept him on the sideline. He learned how to prevent the nagging injuries and he had appeared in 28 straight games before someone rolled up on his right leg in New Orleans, causing the break.
To repair the break, doctors used five screws to attach a plate to the bone. Eight and a half months he still isn’t comfortable making hard cuts on the leg.
“Being able to make sudden cuts on my right leg, I’m still thinking about it,” said Thompson. “Not so much when I’m running the ball, it’s more so when I’m running my routes that I find myself sometime being a little more soft, I would say when I’m cutting on my right leg on a route.”
Thompson made it clear that he won’t be fully ready when the regular season starts on September 9. Doctors told him that he would not be 100 percent until about a year after the injury happened.
“It’s more of getting it up to 90 percent or whatever it is to be able to play,” he said. “At this point now, it’s just me managing the pain and kind of being able to get over it mentally, too. This next month of August and leading up to that first game will be real critical. I really need this time to continue to recover.”
The rehab schedule is tight. He should be able to make it back for Week 1, but time will tell.
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