According to team sources, Redskins tight end Chris Cooley made a visit to renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews on Thursday to get a second opinion on his bothersome left knee.
One of the most revered knee specialists in sports, having to see Andrews is generally an ominous sign. But when reached for comment, Cooley confirmed the meeting while also saying that his recovery is “going in the right direction.”
“To be honest with you, and I mean this,” he said. “I would be amazed if I didn’t play against the Giants,” Cooley said, via phone on Monday afternoon. “We had the wrong plan,” Cooley said. “Now I’m confident we have the right plan.”
According to the sources, Andrews’ examinations were just a way of further-evaluating the left knee that Cooley had minor arthoscopic knee surgery on back on January 3. Cooley didn’t anticipate having any setbacks with the knee during training camp, but swelling and discomfort have kept him off the practice field over the past week.
The pro bowl tight end, who compiled a career-best 849 receiving yards in 2010, was held out of Washington’s preseason opener on Friday night and he’s not expected to play in this week’s game against the Indianapolis Colts.
On Sunday afternoon Mike Shanahan said that Cooley would be given time to rest and that he’d be re-evaluated “in a couple weeks.” When asked if Cooley would be ready for the start of the Redskins’ season the veteran head coach said that he didn’t know.
But Cooley says he is sure about his availability and says he fully expects to be ready to open the season on September 11.
“The biggest thing for me is to make sure that I stay a part of the team and keep trying to help out the guys on our offense,” Cooley said about what looks to be a light upcoming practice schedule. “I want to make sure when I step on the field I can play at a high level in week-one.”
The sixth most productive tight end in Redskins history, Cooley is two catches shy of passing Jerry Smith (421) for fifth-place on Washington’s all-time receptions list. The 29-year-old, eight-year veteran has accounted for five of the top six receiving seasons by a tight end in Redskins history.
Cooley says not practicing in Washington’s practices will help him better prepare for week-one because as he put it, “I’ll have six hours a day to work out.” He also says he’s in the best shape he’s been in as a Redskin, stating that he’s weighing 241 pounds for the first time since he was 18 years-old.