DeShawn Shead sat at his locker Wednesday afternoon lacing up a pair of football cleats with a grin on his face. Moments later, and still wearing that same smile, the Seahawks cornerback jogged from the locker room to the practice field carrying a helmet for the first time in nearly 11 months.
Shead, who tore his ACL in January’s playoff loss at Atlanta and had been on the physically unable to perform list all season until now, returned to practice Wednesday, the latest and most significant step in his journey back from that knee injury. Shead’s return to practice doesn’t necessarily mean an immediate return to game action—the Seahawks have up to three weeks to add him to the 53-man roster—but it’s a sign that he is close to being back.
“DeShawn’s practicing today for the first time,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said. “We’re really fired up for that. It’s been a long haul for him. Anytime you ever heard me talk about him, I would tell you he’s ridiculously on it in terms of his rehab and his effort and his preparation and all of that. I’m thrilled for him to come back to practice now and have a chance. He has three weeks to show where he is and all that, and we’ll take a good look at it with our fingers crossed and high hopes that he’ll be able to help us out.”
Like any optimist, Shead hoped he would have made it back from this injury sooner, but as is so often the case with serious injuries there were hurdles along the way, including a second procedure to clean up scar tissue during the summer, but now that he is back, last year’s starting right cornerback is ready to focus on helping his team in whatever way he can.
“You know me, I was trying to get back the first game of the season,” Shead said. “But I just trusted the process and took it day by day. These injuries, you never know. I thought I was going to be back the first game of the regular season. That’s me being optimistic, that’s my mindset. But it’s a day-to-day grind. My whole mindset is take it day-by-day and keep grinding and trust the process.” Seahawks.com
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