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TE Ingram In Good Company During Rehab

This is not how tight end Cornelius Ingram envisioned his rookie season.

The athletic tight end was drafted by the Eagles in the fifth round after missing his final year at the University of Florida with a torn ACL in his left knee. Ingram flashed tremendous hands, jumping ability and speed during his rookie training camp. But then, in an unfortunate turn of events, he tore the same ACL and was placed on injured reserve.

"It's very tough," Ingram said. "Even the first time it happened at school, that was my first time every being seriously injured. My first time ever having surgery. So I took it hard. And then when it happened a year later, almost around the same exact time, it was still frustrating."

But Ingram hasn't allowed the disappointment to cloud his progress in rehab, and he has a big advantage this time around.

"When I went through it last year at Florida, I was kind of by myself," Ingram said. "But now I'm here with Stewart Bradley, and he does a great job with wanting to do competition stuff every day, whenever we're working out. And it actually works because every day I show up I know I really have to put my hard-hat on."

Bradley tore his ACL during the preseason as well, so the two have been joined at the hip during their rehab under the watchful eye of trainer Rick Burkholder.

"Every time we do something," Ingram said, "especially a new activity that we're doing, (Bradley) wants to go full speed, he wants to do extra reps. It helps out a lot, because there are days where we're going hard and we're doing a lot, so you might get tired and you might get a little frustrated; but (Bradley's) one of those guys who keeps pushing and he wants to get better and he wants me to get better so it definitely helps.

"Honestly, (Bradley) looks like he could play right now. There are times where, if we're doing a certain drill, he might want to go full speed and Rick (Burkholder) has to tell us to calm down. But, he's just a great guy to be around, a big time competitor in everything that we're doing, so it helps out a lot with me."

Ingram has a couple other advantages over his rehab at Florida. For one, his surgery was performed by renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews.

"I'm pretty confident (the knee is fixed)," Ingram said. "Dr. Andrews, he did the surgery this time and we've been back two or three times since the surgery for check-ups. And he's telling us and our training staff that everything looks good and everything feels fine to me."

Ingram is also enjoying the equipment available to him at the NovaCare complex.

"Here we have an underwater treadmill, and that actually helps out a lot," he said. "So me and Stewart, we're actually able to run underneath the water before we actually hit the grass and it helps a lot with the type of surgery that we had. Like I said before, our entire training staff is doing a great job with me and I feel real positive in the direction that I'm going."

Ingram said he expects to start running outside sometime around Thanksgiving. In the mean time, he'll be focused on working hard with the trainers and keeping his head in the playbook.

"The good thing about it, I can participate in meetings," Ingram said. "So I'm there, still learning every week and I feel really good. Once next year comes and I'm ready to get out there, I can definitely get out there and make something happen."

-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 3:15 p.m., November 7

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