Q: From what we are hearing you are talking to either the Coach or the Quarterback, you seem to think you are a fast healer and will get back quickly. What are your thoughts on that?A: That is always my goal – to get back quickly. I love the game of football and I love being out there with my teammates. You don't want stuff like this to happen, but it happened. So my goal is to get back healthy as fast as I can and get back on the field.
Q: I know you are optimistic about the start of training camp. Is that something that the doctors seem to think is a possibility, too?A: Yeah. The doctor said that he had people come back as early as four weeks, six weeks to eight weeks. It really just ranges. We just don't want any setbacks. So we are going to take it – the team wants to take it 12 weeks, that is what they are giving us. So I think that is what we are going go by what the team gives us. But my goal is always to come back earlier. We just don't want any setbacks. We just have to play it smart and be ready for the season
Q: Have you spoken with some of your teammates that have had this particular injury and surgery in the last couple of years?A: I talked to Bradshaw; I talked to Prince about it. I have talked to Hixon about it, too. Hixon had a similar (injury). He was telling me about it. Mainly Bradshaw said that I would be good, ready to go once the screws get in and they heal up and everything. But it is just a matter of the wound healing up. It feels good. I'm walking around pretty good right now. But it is still early. I'm barely a week in. So it is just a matter of me being patient about it and just making sure I'm doing all of the right things and taking care of my body.
Q: Can you walk through the play; what happened exactly?A: It was just a hook route; it was just a simple hook route from inside the slot. And when I was turning back for the ball I just felt a little snap. I walked it off for a second but then I felt that something wasn't right. I don't think anyone noticed it; I just kind of walked off to the side and pulled the trainer to the side and I said, "I think I felt something pop in my foot." They checked it out. I went and got X-rays it showed a slight little crack. We had to go and take care of that. My goal was to get it done as soon as possible. I got it done the next day. They said the sooner I could get it done the sooner I would be able to come back.
Q: Have you ever had any foot trouble in the past or is this your first major foot injury?A: After my rookie season I had to get my left great toe repaired. It is not really my first one. And the same doctor did it. I was ready for training camp the next season after my rookie year, too. So I don't have any worries about it. This is just a little minor setback.
Q: You said you were walking around pretty good. I assume that is with a little help. Are you in a walking boot or a cast?A: Yeah, I have a walking boot.
Q: What are your plans for the next couple of weeks? Are you coming up for the mini camp; are you going to be with the team at all?A: Yeah, I'm going to actually be with the team next week. It was just that I stayed here in Charlotte at my house. I had my surgery here in Charlotte so I just stayed here for a week and I will fly back to New York over the weekend. I'll be there next week. I'll start getting treatment and start working on it a little bit.
Q: One of the things the guys who have had this injury said was the most challenging was staying in condition. Since obviously can't run or do other things, is that a concern for you?A: You know you have to really just make sure you are eating all of the right things and not getting too big. I think the doctor told me in two weeks I will be able to bike and do the elliptical and stuff like that. So in about another week I'll be able to do the elliptical and do stuff in the training room to keep my cardio up and conditioning. Obviously I won't be able to run. I might be able to do some running in the pool and stuff and but as far as physically running, I think that's just what I have to do – be the pro and do all of the other things I can do for conditioning the upper body except for running. Do things in the pool; do things on the bike. I have another week or so before I can do that.
Q: Are you planning on making the trip with the team down to the White House or are you going to stay up here?A: I'm going to make the trip with the team.
Q: Obviously you like this time of year as far as getting some timing down. If you miss a lot of training camp, how quickly will you be able to get back into the swing of things, get back in the groove with the offense and with Eli?A: I don't think it is going to be too hard. It is just going to be a matter of getting the plays. I know the plays, I know the offense so that won't be hard. It is just going to be a matter of getting my wind back up and being able to put together the 10-12, 16-play drives without getting fatigued. I think after a few days of that I think I will be good. I definitely feel like I will be ready to go when it is time to be ready to go. We just don't want any setbacks right now so we are just going to take it slow as of right now. But once it is time to run and do all of those types of things, I'll be able to judge it more. I'm only a week in right now. So it is pretty hard to say. By the time I'm ready to do some elliptical and bike and stuff in about a week, we'll see how I feel when I start doing that stuff. And then we will base it off that.
Q: Do you have any doubt about the September 5th season opener?A: No, I don't have any doubt.
Q: Do you ever worry about yourself because you are so competitive and you want to get back so quickly that you are going to rush things and wind up having a setback because of that?A: No, because that is my mentality. I like having that mentality. It helps me all of the time. But obviously if I feel something while I'm running and I'm going to listen to my body. I'm going to be smart. I'm going to be smart about it. If I feel something while I'm running, I'm going to tell the coach, I'm going to tell the trainers I still feel it a little bit. If not, then, I'm going to keep it going. But I'm going to be smart about it on my first day back. I'm not going to get in and jump in and do a whole practice. I might just jump in the first practice and do individual drills, work it in with 25% reps. The next practice 50 %, then work my way into it until full practice. I don't think they will just have me jump out into a full practice once I'm ready to go and cleared by the doctors. I know our trainers do a good job of working us back into it.
Q: The coaches were talking about how you really have become a veteran presence out there with some of the young wide receivers in the room. Have you been able to reach out to any of those guys to talk about what they need to do to kind of speed up the process while you are out?A: Yeah. The thing about it, those guys have been around for awhile except for the young guys that just came in and the guys who are trying to compete for a spot like Jernigan. I reached out to them and told them to just work on your craft, work on the things you need to get better at and be ready to compete. It is an opportunity for a lot of guys to share, to compete. And I'm sure everybody is ready to compete for that. My presence is still going to be there when I get there next week. I'll still be in the film room with those guys and being able to – I won't be out on the practice field with them but I'll be able to watch the film with them and still talk to them and tell them some things.