RICHMOND—As much as Jason Hatcher wanted to be on the field for the first day of Redskins training camp, the veteran also understands why he was held out by the team’s medical staff.
“I want to get back on the field, but I know I’ve got take precaution,” Hatcher said after working off to the side with the other rehabbing players. “It’s progressing pretty quickly. The trainers got a great game plan, so I’m just going to stick with it. Whenever they say I’m ready to go, I’m back on the field.”
Hatcher was one of the Redskins’ big free agent additions this offseason and, when he’s healthy, will be expected to start at right end and help transform the team’s meager pass rush. But the 32-year-old felt a twinge in his left knee during OTAs and, after consulting with the Redskins’ medical team, decided to have his knee scoped by Dr. James Andrews in late June.
Hatcher opened camp on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list, but he can be removed any time.
“I feel like I’m ahead of schedule,” said Hatcher, who originally given a 4-6 week recovery timeframe. “But you really have to give these things time to heal. I feel great right now. I move well. I got to cutting today and my speed is back. It’s one of those things that you jut have to take your time with so you’re ready for the season.”
Hatcher said he briefly considered playing through the pain and discomfort this season. Now that he’s close to returning to 100-percent, however, he’s glad that he opted to have surgery.
“A healthy Hatch can really help this team,” Hatcher said. “If I was going out there managing the knee every week, then I couldn’t be myself. So I’m glad that it peeked it’s head out when it did and I was able to address it. My rehab went great. So I should be back to the old Hatch really soon.”