One of the most common things during this portion of the NFL offseason is hearing an injured player guarantee he’ll be back in time for the start of the season.
Hopefully you aren’t too tired of hearing about them because we’ve got another one for you. It’s Steelers defensive tackle Casey Hampton taking his turn this time. Hampton said that no one has spoken to him about possibly starting the year on the PUP list and that he’s planning to play in the first game of the regular season, which will come less than eight months after surgery to repair a torn ACL.
“I’m planning on coming back for the season,” Hampton said, via Jamison Hensley of ESPN.com. “That’s what I’m looking at. That’s realistic for me. I don’t know about anybody else.”
We’d normally throw in a warning about athletes pushing themselves too fast, especially when they are 34 years old, but Hampton has some experience on this front. This was his third ACL surgery so he likely has a pretty good idea about what it takes to recover. Still, it’s best to put any discussion about the PUP list or Week One on hold until Hampton is actually able to practice for the Steelers.
If Hampton isn’t able to go, the Steelers will choose between Steve McLendon and fourth-round pick Alameda Ta’amu in the middle of their defensive line.