While Fred Davis has been the team’s top tight end since the early days of training camp, tight end Chris Cooley has done “anything and everything” to get his ailing left knee healthy. He says he’s noticed huge strides in the day’s leading up to Monday’s game at Dallas.
As we detailed in this morning’s Post (see link above), Cooley has visited with four doctors, used a variety of creams and ointments and has also undergone a series of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injection therapy treatments, a blood-spinning technique intended to accelerate tissue regeneration. Teammates LaRon Landry and Brandon Banks have undergone similar therapy treatments, and Cooley says he’s noticed immediate results.
“I’d say I felt 50 percent better after each time that I did it. ... I can’t tell you the ultimate benefits to it,” he said. “No one can. It’s still new. But I did feel better.”
Cooley says he hasn’t had to drain his knee since the season began and said it’s possible he’ll receive further PRP treatments as the season progresses. While his left knee is still sore, he feels this is the first week he has been able to practice without any visible ill-effects.
The past few weeks have been trying for him. With the exception of the broken ankle that ended his 2009 campaign early, Cooley hasn’t had to deal much with injuries in his career.
“In some way, I think it’ll be a maintenance program a lot of this year,” he said. “Will it always be an issue? I can’t tell you yes or no. It feels way better than it did two weeks ago. A month ago, even thinking about practicing wasn’t an option. So it feels way, way better.”
While Cooley’s knee has slowly improved, Davis has made huge strides on the field. Cooley says competition at the position — a friendly competition, he notes — has pushed him to get back and get healthy as soon as possible.
“I want to be on the field. I want to contribute to this team more than anything,” he said. “I want to catch six passes for 100 yards. That’s a huge accomplishment and to do that and win, it’s an amazing feeling. But the way I address this game, it’s truly one play at a time and I want to play well on every play. If I’m in the backfield at fullback and I have to do the lead block, I want to do that just as well as I want to catch a ball.”
Even though Davis has seen a heavier workload these first couple of weeks, Cooley stresses that he’s still having fun. It’s a different vibe around Redskins Park, he says, and the confidence in the locker room is unlike recent years.
“Guys feel confident. They come to work confident. Everyone here is on the same page with what we’re coming to work to do,” he said. “Everyone’s so level with each other, and we get along. We’re working together, and it’s exciting. It makes it fun.
“Winning definitely helps. But with this group of guys, it’s not going to be the end of the world when we lose a game — if we lose a game. But it sure is fun to come back and watch film on Monday, see everyone, then come to work Wednesday and start getting ready for the next game.”