Chris Cooley Expected To Miss Around A Month Following Finger Surgery
ASHBURN – The first picture Chris Cooley showed on his iPhone was that of his left index finger following surgery – a swollen, purple mess with gaudy stitches down the middle reminiscent of a zipper, or perhaps Frankenstein’s monster’s neck. The second was an x-ray of the finger showing the proximal phalange had been shattered, holding it together simply by the joints.
He would have shown a third – what the x-ray looks like now, with screws and plates holding it together following surgery on Wednesday – but he hadn’t even seen it yet himself.
“I can’t really tell you what it looks like,” Cooley said.
What he does know is that it looks worse than it really is. The tight end expects to miss just a month after having the surgery, with the finger, crushed by Philadelphia cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha’s helmet in the Washington Redskins’ loss to the Eagles on Sunday, wrapped and bandaged but not placed in a cast.
“This has been a weird year for me – not practicing in camp and not playing the way I want to play and now being hurt for another month,” Cooley said, citing the trouble with his ailing left knee. “I’ve never experienced something like this, so I’m trying to make the most I can out of it.”
The broken finger, in some sort of macabre way, is good for Cooley. He said it will allow him to rest the left knee, in which he has experienced swelling since the start of training camp following offseason surgery, and should rest him up “if we were to make a playoff run,” he said.
“It’s just that the whole joint is irritated, so to have a month to have the joint calm down will be very good for me,” Cooley said. “My biggest focus over the next month is just to be staying in great shape and getting myself ready to play football. I think I can get myself ready to play at a higher level than I was playing over the first five weeks.”
Cooley has caught eight passes for 65 yards over the Redskins’ first five games. With him sidelined, Washington will continue to turn to Fred Davis, who’s having a breakout year, and Logan Paulsen as its tight ends. Mike Sellers, a fullback who worked as a tight end in the preseason, could also see time in max protect situations.
“It’s always frustrating to miss time,” Cooley said. “I think I’m more optimistic missing time this season because I’m not out for the season. … Now I feel I can come in and study and continue to learn this offense better, help Fred, help Logan, help our receivers and get myself ready to play and get ready for big things.”