Jon Beason, apparently, is beasting. And Leon Hall hopes to be soon.
The Carolina Panthers linebacker, coming back from a torn Achilles last summer, was back on the field in team drills Tuesday for the first time since his injury last fall.
Hall, the Cincinnati cornerback, likewise expressed optimism he’ll make a quick comeback from the same injury. That’s the order of the day for players with Achilles problems, as Terrell Suggs just announced he’s off crutches, “beasting,” and hoping for a November comeback.
Beason tore his Achilles in Week 2 last year, but has been doing individual work during OTAs. He said then he hoped to do more, but was held back by the coaching staff.
Tuesday, he celebrated his return by picking off a Cam Newton pass during 11-on-11 work, which coach Ron Rivera referred to as “a natural play.”
“It was good to see him moving around,” Rivera said, acccording to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. “Really, the biggest thing was just his conditioning. He was winded. He’s done all the installation stuff. But he was out there. And you could see he had a little adrenaline rush going. He was all fired up to get that last extra set of reps. He (asked) out just because he was gassed.”
Hall, who tore his Achilles in Week 10, is a little further behind, but said Tuesday he hopes to return by the start of training camp.
“PUP (Physically Unable to Perform list) is not in my dictionary right now, to be honest with you,” Hall said, according to ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley. “The plan is to be back by training camp. The first day is what I’m gunning for.”
The problem they all face is overestimating themselves. Achilles tears can heal with time, but pushing it and attempting explosive moves can create setbacks. Beason tried easing along on his injured Achilles last year, but the result was a season on injured reserve anyway. That’s why coaches will often preach patience, even when the player doesn’t want to hear it.