After 7-month recovery, Posey returns

After 7-month recovery, Posey returns
August 19, 2013, 6:15 pm
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DeVier Posey tore his Achilles tendon in the Texans' playoff loss in mid-January.

(USA Today Images)

For seven months, as DeVier Posey worked to recover from a torn Achilles, he wondered what his first day back would be like.

As he walked off the field Monday afternoon, he didn’t have to wonder anymore. After being removed from the Active/PUP list on Monday, Posey participated in his first practice since his injury on Jan. 13 and even has a chance to play in Sunday’s preseason game.

“I just kind of missed competing, just the grind with the boys every day,” Posey said. “Just being tired. Like, I’m one of the guys that like oddly enjoys coming out here in camp, when the fans are out here, and working. I was looking forward to it, you know? My second year before the injury happened, knowing more.

“But things happen for a reason and it kind of refocused me. I thought I appreciated it back then, but I appreciate it even more now.”

Posey previously said his leg felt like Jell-O when he tore his ACL on Jan. 13 in New England. On Monday, he said his Achilles feels even stronger than it felt before the injury because of all the rehab work he’s done.

Many thought Posey would need to start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, which would have kept him out for at least six weeks. But the young wide receiver was able to get back to practice seven months and one day after surgery.

“I’m blown away by it, honestly,” veteran tight end Owen Daniels said. “I know he’s working his butt off in the training room and out here on the field doing his rehab. I’ve seen it from start to finish really, so it’s amazing. Having that injury and that surgery and being back in seven month’s time is pretty impressive.

“It just goes to show the work he’s put in; his young body probably has something to do with it. He’s hungry. He was getting a chance at the end of last year; he was coming on, finding his spot on this team and this offense so I know he’s been really itching to get back out and get in the swing of things.”

From the seat of his wheelchair after the Achilles tear, Posey told head coach Gary Kubiak he’d be back for the start of the season. Then, he went to work.

"I like to figure that Iron Man got broke a couple times and he came back stronger,” Posey said to CSN during OTAs, “so that’s what I’m trying to do."

While his teammates were off on vacation and enjoying their summers, Posey was at Reliant Stadium working to rehab that Achilles and stay in shape. He also changed his sleeping and eating habits, cutting out sweets, bread and dairy. He attributed those things, along with his rehab work, to the quick recovery.

“You have to give the kid credit,” Kubiak said. “He’s gone above and beyond. I mean, the kid’s lived here ever since this injury and what a job to get back.”

Posey, a third-round pick in 2012, didn’t get off to a particularly fast start in the NFL; he had just six catches in the regular season. But the former Buckeye receiver seemed to figure it out toward the end of the year and in the playoffs. He even had a chance to be the team’s No. 2 receiver this year until he got hurt.

Kubiak said if Posey has a “great” week he might get a few snaps in Sunday’s game against the Saints.

“Yeah, I need to get hit, bounce up, give the ball to the ref and run back the huddle and know I’m alright,” Posey said. “That will help.”

But even if Posey can’t play in Sunday’s game or in the preseason at all, it appears he might be ready for the season opener, something that seemed like a longshot when he sat in a wheelchair in New England.

“I’m grateful every day for just being a Texan and yeah, of course, being able to be able to come out and still have a chance to play in the first game is a blessing,” Posey said. “I’m just trying to take it all in and just take it day by day and not miss any steps.”