Redskins defensive end Adam Carriker will begin training camp on the active/physically-unable-to-perform list because of his ongoing rehabilitation from a ruptured right quadriceps tendon, he told ESPN980 radio on Wednesday night.
Although Carriker hopes to be able to play in the Redskins’ regular-season opener, his status for the upcoming season is in significant doubt. He is out indefinitely after requiring a second surgery during the winter, and the Redskins must proceed as though he won’t be in the defensive line rotation.
“At this point, we’re really working on getting the range of motion back in the knee,” Carriker said on The Chris Russell Show. “Your knee is supposed to bend at, like, 130-140 degrees. Typically right now, it doesn’t get there.
“My strength within the motion I have is pretty good. But we got to get more motion out of it just to be able to play football, first of all, and then just to be able to live a normal life and do things of that nature. So we get that range of motion back, shoot, I should be able to go. It’s just it might take a while to get that.”
Carriker, 29, was injured last Sept. 16. He suffered some sort of setback around New Year’s about which he and the team are withholding details. That’s intriguing but not surprising given how sensitive the subject of knee rehabilitation is in the aftermath of quarterback Robert Griffin III’s right knee ligaments injury.
“I’m not sure what we want to disclose at this point,” Carriker said on the radio. “It was a setback, clearly, and obviously led to another surgery. Obviously it set me back. I wasn’t able to do any of the offseason activities and be on the field. It was just a setback and we’ll leave it at that for right now. Maybe we’ll elaborate at a later date.”
The nature of Carriker’s injury is particularly concerning because the quadriceps is a core muscle he must rely on to anchor at the line of scrimmage. Withstanding stress is a critical part of his ongoing rehab.
“As we progress, the running, the strengthening, the adding more weights, the increasing the volume of running, getting the explosion back, I’ll know how it feels then,” Carriker said. “I’ll know what, kind of, to expect. Then when I start practicing, obviously we’re going to start off slow because it has been a long time since I’ve even donned pads and a helmet, which is just crazy to me.”
Carriker’s lingering problem and the season-ending biceps injury Doug Worthington suffered Tuesday create some questions at defensive end, which was once one of the team’s deepest positions. Worthington, who primarily is a run stopper, was promoted from the practice squad last season after Carriker got hurt. Now the Redskins are down two linemen on the depth chart.
“He was playing so well in the OTAs and the minicamps,” Carriker said of Worthington. “I’m not just being nice or being PC, he was beasting people. He stood out to me on the film, without a doubt.”
The Redskins signed defensive end Phillip Merling and nose tackle Ron Brace this offseason, and nose tackle Chris Neild is back from the torn left ACL he suffered in training camp last summer.
Worthington was waived/injured Wednesday, but Carriker still has the chance to play this season. He believes it’s a matter of when, not if.
“I feel like I’m just pacing back and forth inside of a cage at the zoo like a caged tiger,” he said. “Just pacing, waiting for that door to open. At some point it’s going to, and I can’t wait to be ready to just pounce out of it and play some football.”