Tight end Chris Cooley has missed most of training camp and both preseason games due to a knee injury, but he still expects to be available opening day when the Redskins host the New York Giants on Sept. 1.
"This is the best that my knee has felt since last year before I started having soreness," Cooley said. "I'm extremely hopeful to practice prior to Week 1 and play Week 1, and I'm doing as much as possible to get healthy."
Cooley said he had to rest the injury for nearly two weeks because the joint in his knee would get irritated every time he tried to practice.
"My mindset has always been to push through [injuries], and I was just hurting it more and more," said Cooley.
Cooley has rode stationary bicycles and tried swimming to help prepare him for the season. He is also working on an anti-gravity treadmill daily to help rebuild his strength and speed.
"We've moved forward extremely quickly in my treatment so far, so as long as everything continues to progress, I'll hope to be back in some capacity on the field next week," he said. "I can't imagine not playing against the Giants."
Cooley said his knee brace needs to be re-fitted since the swelling in his knee has gone down.
"The thing that eats at me is watching both the first games; the guys are having so much fun, so I want to be a part of that," said Cooley. "It's been a long time since we've looked this good in preseason."
With Cooley sidelined, Fred Davis has started the first two preseason games and backup Logan Paulsen has had substantial playing time.
The Redskins offense has been clicking in two preseason games. Davis has had impressive performance in practices and games in Cooley's absence.
"I think our first-team offense has done a tremendous job," Cooley said. "The thing I've noticed the most is that guys just seem to be on the same page. I think it's a matter of guys being in the system and understanding it better."