Tim Hightower On ACL Injury, Surgery, Not Playing: ‘It Hurts. It Hurts A Lot’
ASHBURN – Tim Hightower, who tore the ACL in his left knee in the Washington Redskins’ 33-20 loss at Carolina on Oct. 23, said not being able to play in the last three games has been the toughest part of sustaining the injury thus far.
“That might have been one of the hardest things in a while,” Hightower said. “It’s been really hard. Just coming here, very excited to come here, a great opportunity – I kind of felt like I got a chance to revive my career a little bit and start something new with a [new team].”
Hightower spoke for the first time since the Redskins placed him on injured reserve. He had surgery on the knee last Tuesday; the expected recovery time is typically between six and eight months, but that doesn’t matter to him.
“I don’t believe in timelines,” the running back said. “You’re talking to the wrong guy. I’m going to give it all I have and I’m going to put as much emotion, as much passion into rehabbing my knee as I did playing football.”
What has bothered Hightower about the injury is that he believes he has disappointed his teammates. He was traded to the Redskins from Arizona on Aug. 1 and restructured his contract to play in his hometown, agreeing to a one-year, $1.2 million deal.
He hasn’t considered his future in Washington to this point, only conceding that he wishes he’d be able to retire with the team. Hightower, 25, doesn’t want to have those discussions at this point, owing to the fact that he’s not fully healthy and he doesn’t want to serve as a distraction to the team.
At the time of his injury, he had 321 rushing yards and a touchdown. Those marks are still the highest on the team, despite his having not played in nearly a month. The Redskins have struggled in the running game since losing Hightower and only have 170 rushing yards in the last three games behind Ryan Torain and rookie Roy Helu.
“It hurts,” Hightower said. “It hurts a lot. When you put a lot into this season, and a lot of guys put a lot into this season – a lot of guys put their name and their job on the line here to bring you here and you’re not playing, it’s tough. It is tough. But one thing I do know – I am still here for a reason and that will be determined pretty soon, hopefully. I’ve just got to try to put it all in my focus. I use all that passion, that frustration, just into my leg, my knee, and try to get back as soon as I can. I’ll try to encourage the guys around me while I have a chance to.”