Colt Anderson didn't practice once during the preseason. After tearing his ACL during the Eagles' 12th game of the 2011 season, Anderson rehabbed furiously with the hopes of contributing as quickly as possible to the Eagles' 2012 cause. Heading into last Friday's roster cutdowns, many assumed that the special teams demon would be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which would have kept Anderson off the field until at least the team's seventh game.
But head coach Andy Reid and general manager Howie Roseman know full well the impact Anderson makes on special teams when healthy. After all, he led the team by a wide margin in special teams production points at the time of his injury last year. Anderson's special teams contributions stand out so much that he was voted a captain for the Eagles' 2010 playoff game despite having joined the team halfway through the season. So knowing that Anderson was inching his way towards 100 percent health, the Eagles chose to activate the Montana native.
"I guess you could say it was my goal (to be on the active roster in Week 1)," Anderson said Wednesday. "I just want to play. Obviously I feel good enough to be out there and the training staff and the head coach feel good about it. It was a decision we all made and it feels good to get out there."
Anderson has been practicing this week, but Reid has already announced that Anderson won't be playing on Sunday when the Eagles open the season in Cleveland. But the expectation is that it won't be long before Anderson's ready to suit up on game day.
"I'm definitely close," he said. "It's still a day-to-day thing as far as when I play, but it was good to get out there and play with the guys, knock some of the dust off.
"It's not my call. I'm just going to go to practice every day and try to get better."
For the first year and a half of his professional career, Anderson toiled on the Minnesota Vikings practice squad. Back then, there was a frustration for Anderson in watching his teammates on the field without having the opportunity to contribute himself. He felt a similar feeling this summer, as he rehabbed while his teammates were hard at work on the practice field.
"It's definitely tough not being out there with the guys, especially during practice and after practice when we're watching film," Anderson said. "Seeing those guys out there busting their tail, I want to be out there with them helping them out. It was tough but it is good to be out there right now."
Finally, Anderson's offseason goals weren't limited to making an early contribution on special teams. The 5-10, 194-pound safety believes he has a chance to make an impact on defense as well.
"I see myself as a safety in this league," he said. "Special teams is my bread and butter right now, but I do want to be a safety at one point."
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