- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Chris Culliver did not watch much of the Denver Broncos’ Super Bowl 50 victory against the Carolina Panthers. The Washington Redskins‘ cornerback had just left San Francisco that Sunday and was on a plane back to Florida, back to Gulf Breeze and the Andrews Institute to continue rehabilitating from surgery that repaired the torn ACL and MCL in his right knee.

The getaway was a welcoming reprieve for Culliver, who was able to spend the week in the Bay Area with teammates Dashon Goldson and Duke Ihenacho.

“I just hung out with the guys and kicked it a little bit and then came back this way to get back to business,” Culliver said by phone on Tuesday.

For Culliver, back to business means grinding from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. most days, which includes two sessions of physical therapy and meetings with massage specialists. The day after the Redskins were eliminated from the playoffs in the wild-card round, Culliver vowed to be back for the start of the 2016 season and is hopeful he will be able to participate, in some degree, in offseason workouts.

That timetable still remains the goal for Culliver, who has gone through this process before when he tore his left ACL and missed the 2013 season with the San Francisco 49ers.

“I know what to expect and what to do, how my body will react and to listen to what my body is telling me,” Culliver said. “If I’m not doing rehab I’m doing something else to recover, always doing something every day.”

While the rehab process has been challenging, Culliver said the hardest part of the injury was making peace with how it happened.

This past season was one of the more challenging for the Redskins cornerback. After signing a four-year, $32 million contract last March, Culliver played in just six games. He was suspended for one game after he pleaded guilty to a pair of misdemeanors stemming from a March 2014 incident and then missed three games because of a left knee injury.

Culliver returned in Week 9 against the New England Patriots, but the final blow to his season came during a practice on Thanksgiving, when Culliver tore the ACL and MCL in his right knee after colliding with a teammate while attempting to defend a pass.

“I felt bad for myself just because I don’t want any injury to occur to anybody, “Culliver said. “Once something like that occurs in practice it feels stupid, to be honest with you, but things happen.”

Once Culliver was able to put that gloomy morning and the pain of not being able to contribute as the Redskins went on to win the NFC East behind him, he’s been able to focus on getting himself back to 100 percent as quickly as possible.

“I just live and move on,” Culliver said. “I’m in a good place because it’s all going to work out for the best.”

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