Fourth-year veteran tight end Derek Carrier on Monday participated in his first practice since suffering a torn ACL and MCL, calling the moment "exhilarating" as he looks to help the team down the stretch.
After nearly 11 months since suffering a torn ACL and MCL in a game against the Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins tight end Derek Carrier returned to practice on Monday.
Instead of using an agility ladder for rehab, Carrier was going through individual drills with his fellow tight ends and even took part in 1-on-1s. During one of his reps against Duke Ihenacho, Carrier was able to plant off his injured right leg and then cut to his left before hauling in a pass.
The Redskins now have 21 days to decide if Carrier – who has spent the entire season to date on the Physically Unable to Perform list (PUP) – will join the active roster.
"I felt good," Carrier said. "You know, just trying to get back in the swing of things, try to pick up where I left off and get better. But I felt good out there today."
Carrier admitted that, naturally, he had "a little bit" of rust after not participating in a practice session since last season, but that he's starting to regain trust in his knee.
"It's easy to do it when you're on air, rehabbing, but it's a completely different thing with someone lined up across from you," Carrier said. ""Honestly when it first happened, I was kind of upset, frustrated like anyone would be. You just got to trust in God, for me that's the big thing. And then trusted in the guys we have here to get the job done. Nothing too personal about it, it happens to everyone. Then just kind of rebound from there, understand that's a process and it's going to take some time."
Washington originally acquired Carrier last August after Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen were placed on season-ending Injured Reserve and Jordan Reed dealt with his own injuries.
Starting all 12 of his appearances for the Redskins in 2015, the Beloit College product recorded 17 receptions for 141 yards and a touchdown.
Being back on the field in what he hopes is the starting of a productive second season with the Redskins was "exhilarating."
Carrier's return, though, will be bittersweet. The Redskins will need him after head coach Jay Gruden announced on Monday that Niles Paul (shoulder) is being placed on Injured Reserve.
Carrier watched as Paul work tirelessly to return from a gruesome ankle injury suffered last August, only for the sixth-year Nebraska product to be placed on Injured Reserve once again.
"It's awful," Carrier said. "I feel so bad for Niles. As a teammate and a friend, that's someone you want to see succeed, especially as special teams captain he was doing such a good job. You feel for someone like that who had a big ankle injury last year and then have something done to his shoulder this year. You feel for him."