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Michael Crabtree, Kendall Hunter Achilles rehab: Player insight from around the league

Fred Davis and Terrell Suggs each provided some insight into Achilles tear rehab. We can consider that in Michael Crabtree's recovery, as well as the return of Kendall Hunter.


Earlier this morning, Redskins tight end Fred Davis discussed his current rehab status on NFL AM. For those not aware, Davis suffered a torn Achilles in the Redskins Week 7 contest against the New York Giants. We discussed this briefly when Davis was cleared to resume running earlier this year. On NFL AM, Davis said he was aiming for a return at the team's minicamp next month:

"Right now I'm in the training process, still rehabbing," Davis said on "NFL AM" Thursday morning. "I'm doing a lot more running though, a lot more drills, doing some route running, throwing with Robert (Griffin), with the other guys who have been hurt on injured reserve. Other than that I'm just going to probably be ready in a couple more weeks to get ready to be active so I feel pretty good."

I bring it up because Davis's injury occurred five weeks before Kendall Hunter's Achilles injury. We've had plenty of discussion about how injuries differ from player to player, but I think there is still something to take from assessing how others have recovered. It is not a baseline by any stretch, but it gives us some idea of the rehab process.

And of course, now the 49ers have a second Achilles injury to deal with in the form of Michael Crabtree. Since Crabtree went down with his Achilles injury, there has been plenty of chatter about what it all means. Our own socalisteph had some thoughts on the mental aspects of the injury. Kendall Hunter provided some insight given his own experience.

Now we are hearing from non-49ers. Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was the first player to give his thoughts on the rehab process. Although these players are competing against each other for Super Bowls, there is a sort of fraternity among these players as they deal with similar ailments.

In his interview on NFL AM, Davis had a few quick thoughts on Crabtree's rehab:

"He's in store for a long journey. Usually guys with injured knees and stuff like that they can get active a little bit quicker. But the key with the Achilles is you just have to sit and wait. It's a sitting game, it's a metal game really, more mental than anything."

The "long journey" comment lines up with what another recovered player had to say. Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs tore his Achilles early last offseason and worked his way back to return Week 7. Although he wasn't completely 100% in his return, Suggs did contribute to the Ravens Super Bowl run.

Suggs spoke with CBS Sports' Clark Judge and had extensive comments about the rehab process. I highly recommend checking out what Suggs had to say. The most intriguing quotation in my mind came in his discussion about the first few months of the rehab process:

"The first two-and-a-half to three months he's going to have to be patient and content within himself," Suggs said, "because he can't move. My doctor told me, 'You've got to give me three months ... just three months ... of lying down and not doing anything. No hobbling around on it, nothing like that. You can't move. Nothing.' So he shouldn't try to lift his upper body.

"Any doctor will tell you there's nothing that could've prevented the injury. So take time; take your three months and chill out. It's going to be miserable. It's going to be the worst thing ever to watch other people play while you sit on the sidelines with a boot on or while you're on crutches. But take those three months and get your mind focused on the rehab ahead and attack it like an S.O.B."

Suggs also discussed the issues of pain tolerance in rehab, how it might impact a wide receiver different than a pass rusher and the whole mental toughness side of things. This is a lengthy process, and given the serious nature of the injury, mental toughness will be a major component of Crabtree's recovery. Check out the rest of the interview over at CBS Sports.

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