By electing not to have surgery on his fragile left Achilles’ tendon and instead choosing a second straight offseason of alternative medical procedures, safety LaRon Landry is rolling the dice as he approaches free agency this spring.
The chances of him finding a team willing to give him a handsome payday appear rather slim, because by the time the league’s free agency signing period rolls around at 4 p.m. on March 13 Landry’s recovery process still may not be complete, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.
Landry met in December with Dr. Robert Anderson, one of the country’s top foot and ankle specialists, and was told that he would need surgery on the injured Achilles’ tendon, which has limited him to 17 games over the last two seasons. Anderson believed that barbs on the bone in the area need to be shaved down so the tendon wouldn’t continue to be snagged when the player tried to run, Landry said.
The Redskins placed Landry on injured reserve Dec. 15, when Coach Mike Shanahan said the fifth-year pro had told him he was going to seek a second opinion and then have the surgery.
According to one person familiar with the situation, Landry was leery of going under the knife and went with non-surgical procedure. During the last offseason, Landry received platelet-rich plasma treatment on the Achilles, but this procedure is different, people aware of Landry’s decision said.
The treatments are continuing and Landry won’t know until early March whether they have worked.
The Redskins would have preferred that Landry get the surgery out of the way soon after he was placed on IR, but with Landry set to become a free agent, the decision was left up to him.
Shanahan did not appear overly concerned Monday with Landry’s choice. “I just heard he’s not going to have surgery, that’s the status right now. Hopefully that heals up and he’s ready to go,” Shanahan said.
The Redskins, according to a person with knowledge of the situation, are taking a wait-and-see approach. They know that when healthy, Landry is an impact player. But at the same time, there are serious questions about whether he can return to that form again.
Landry has said he has no problem signing a one-year deal to prove that he is healthy and pursuing a big payday next offseason. But the Redskins are determined not to overpay even on a one-year deal and are content to determine how much interest Landry draws on the free agent market before deciding whether they want to match or top those offers, or let him walk.