It has been four-and-a-half months since Carlos Rogers suffered knee ligament injuries that ended his 2007 season.
Rogers underwent surgery to repair the knee last November. The subsequent rehab could limit his availability for training camp and preseason.
Rogers said recently that he has targeted the Redskins' 2008 season opener for his return to action.
Whether that's attainable or not, Rogers knows he has to set goals to help with his recovery.
"My body is going to tell me when I'm ready," he told Larry Michael on Redskins Radio on March 7. "I'm making progress. I'm looking at it as, we don't play until September, so I have about six months to get ready.
"I'm just trying to keep getting better and getting stronger [in the knee]. I'm taking it day by day. It's a long process and I don't want to rush it."
It's possible that Rogers will be eased back into the lineup, which means he could serve as a third or fourth cornerback on opening day.
For now, Rogers spends his days at Redskins Park working with athletic trainers and rehabbing the knee. Improving agility and building up strength in the weight room is a focus. He has started jogging on a treadmill.
He is eager for the weather to turn warm so that he can run outside and test his knee on the Redskins Park practice fields.
Rogers runs and walks without a limp now, but he still doesn't have complete flexibility.
"The hard part is bending my knee, getting it all the way back," he said. "That's the painful part of it. It breaks up the scar tissue. But I don't have any pain when I'm running or weightlifting."
Rogers expects to participate in the Redskins' off-season workout program, which starts in late March. He won't work on conditioning with teammates, and may sit out some running drills.
Rogers showed improvement last season after an up-and-down 2006 campaign. He started seven games and recorded 24 tackles (21 solo) and one interception that he returned 61 yards for a touchdown against Detroit.
He suffered his injury in Week 8 at New England when he tried to make a tackle on a screen pass and his leg got intertwined with a pursuing London Fletcher.
Rogers admitted it was hard to watch Redskins games from afar instead of being on the field with teammates.
He took solace in that his former Auburn teammates, running backs Ronnie Brown and Carnell "Cadillac" Williams, were also sidelined for the season with knee injuries.
"Once I had the surgery, I knew both of my best friends [Brown and Williams] had the same surgery, so it was something we all went through together," Rogers said.
With Rogers uncertain for the start of the 2008 season and David Macklin an unrestricted free agent, the Redskins could look to add depth at cornerback this offseason.
Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot are experienced starters, and Leigh Torrence is a young cornerback who impressed last season. The team could use a high draft pick on a cornerback to add more depth and speed to the secondary.