Safety Colt Anderson admitted on Thursday that it was "real tough" to watch his teammates battle through practice after grueling practice at Lehigh University and not be on the field with them.
Anderson is recovering from a torn ACL which he suffered in the Week 13 game at Seattle last season. Anderson is on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list. The third-year special teams ace could be seen during practice doing rehab work – sprinting, cutting, plyometrics - on an adjacent field. Anderson made the most of his time at Training Camp.
"It's amazing. In the last three weeks, it feels so much better," Anderson said on Thursday. "I feel great compared to what I came in at, but I still have to give it a little more time.
"I think I'm pretty close. It's a day-by-day thing with Coach (Andy) Reid and (head athletic trainer) Rick Burkholder. We take it easy and try not to get back too fast."
If Anderson is not activated from the Physically Unable to Perform list before the final roster cutdown, he will not be able to play for the first six weeks of the regular season. Anderson has spoken with teammates who have recovered from the same injury. The best piece of advice they offered has been fairly consistent, don't rush back too soon. At this point, Anderson does not know if he will remain on the Physically Unable to Perform list at the start of the season.
"It's up in the air right now," he said. "I feel like I'm ready to roll, but it's not my call."
Despite suffering the injury with four games remaining on the schedule, Anderson was named the Eagles' Special Teams MVP for the 2011 season. He was the team leader in special teams production points and special teams tackles at the time of his injury. In 2010, Anderson was signed off the Vikings practice squad mid-season, but made a quick impact and was named one of the team captains for the playoffs.
Anderson is excited to get back on the field and work with the two dynamic rookie return specialists in kickoff returner Brandon Boykin and punt returner Damaris Johnson. Boykin had a 46-yard kickoff return in the preseason opener against Pittsburgh. Johnson had a 55-yard punt return before it was called back because of a penalty.
"That was awesome. We have two great rookie returners that obviously showed up and made a couple of plays last week," Anderson said. "Our return game isn't what we wanted it to be last year. I feel like we've stepped up our game this year and we're going to be a lot better in that position."
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