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Health Of Left Knee During Camp Not A Concern For Tim Hightower
ASHBURN – Despite being limited at practice over the first three days, running back Tim Hightower said he “definitely had no setbacks” in his recovery from a torn ACL.
Hightower tore the ligament in his left knee on Oct. 23 when the Washington Redskins played at Carolina and was restricted from anything but conditioning and individual drills during offseason workouts.
The team expected to have him full-go for the start of training camp last Thursday, but head coach Mike Shanahan instead has eased him into his return. Shanahan said Wednesday his goal is to have Hightower ready for the season opener Sept. 9 in New Orleans, not the preseason opener Aug. 9 in Buffalo.
“If I’m not able to go out there and give it 110 [percent] and be at 110, then I’m not going to be out there,” Hightower said Monday. “Somebody else that’s able to do it will be out there. I’m a competitor, but I want to win, too. And if I’m not the best person to be out there and to help my team win, then I’ll take my time and get myself better so when I do get on that field, there’ll be no questions.”
He has taken limited reps in team drills, with carries being more evenly distributed between Evan Royster, Roy Helu and rookie Alfred Morris. Shanahan said he won’t know who’s ahead in the competition until seeing the four running backs in preseason action at the earliest.
Hightower said the team’s athletic trainers have been strict in monitoring the health of the knee, on which he had surgery in early November. Even if the knee is feeling sore, he said, he’ll likely still participate in practice.
“I always want to play, man,” Hightower said. “Any time I get the opportunity to play football, I want to play. I don’t look at it as New Orleans. I look at it as it’s Buffalo, and a chance for me to get better.
“I look at it as a job interview and chance to put something on my resume, and a chance for us as a team to get better. We need every single practice. We need every game and practice, and they need me out there. If I’m able to go, I’m going to go.”