After tearing both his ACL and MCL, Redskins tight end Derek Carrier is excited to make a full recovery and return to the team for the 2016 season.
Derek Carrier's main focus this offseason is simple: rehab. After tearing both his ACL and MCL during a game against the Chicago Bears in Week 14, the tight end has been working to overcome the "major setback."
"Yeah, I mean it was frustrating anytime getting an injury like that, major setback," Carrier said. "But I'm looking forward to rehabbing this thing and getting back better and stronger than ever."
He said his "general timetable" for recovery is about 9-12 months, but he is remaining optimistic that his recovery will be shorter.
Carrier said he's been making good progress in his rehabilitation process and he wasted no time trying to get healthy again.
"Yeah I started the day after surgery, went down to Florida and had it with Dr. Andrews, but yeah, it's just been slowly making progress day by day and stacking one day on top of another and just keep moving forward," he said.
While Carrier admitted that he is not able to do a whole lot at this point in the process, he has been spending time with team trainers to help him regain strength and movement in his knee.
"Still been able to lift upper body, so definitely keeping the upper body strength up, doing a little bit of cardio, as far as kind of incorporating that with the lift, with some upper body stuff, that's really all I can do at this point," Carrier said. "But yeah, just staying strong there. Obviously you're going to lose some muscle in the injured area, so it's trying to keep that joint mobile and then when I'm able to, get some strength back in there."
Carrier was acquired from the San Francisco 49ers via trade in the middle of the preseason, and was looked upon as a steady veteran presence at the tight end position for the Redskins, who had seen Niles Paul (ankle) and Logan Paulsen (toe) already go down with season-ending injuries at that point.
A receiver in college, Carrier showed he could be a strong all-around tight end for Washington. He had 17 catches for 141 yards and a touchdown, continued to work on his blocking and also added three special teams tackles.
"I think as far as where I was in the past, I think my blocking in the run and the pass game really improved," Carrier said of his progress as a tight end. "It's just more or less getting the reps out there and getting a feel for how things go and making strides in that area.
Carrier said he was impressed by the season that starter Jordan Reed put together at the tight end position, as the Florida product led the Redskins with 87 receptions for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns, re-writing several team records in the process.
"It was great. To see how much hard work he puts in, and to see that come to fruition on the field is great," Carrier said of Reed. "You love to see a guy like that succeed."
Despite suffering a disappointing injury to end his season, Carrier believes the time he has spent with the Redskins has been a positive and rewarding experience.
"It was great. I loved it. I love it here," he said. "I'm going to work my butt off to get back from this thing and I'm happy to be around and by no means am I upset about this. It's part of the game, but I'm excited to be back."