Oakland Raiders defensive end Matt Shaughnessy at training camp 2011 (photo by Levi Damien)
Raiders defensive end Matt Shaughnessy was on a tear following the 2010 season and he took that momentum into the 2011 season. But that tear he was on turned ended with a tear in his shoulder in week three. And it has been a long recovery every since. That was September 25, 2011 and he returned to full practice with his teammates Tuesday for the first time since his injury-Nearly 9 months later.
Missing out of the seasons just as it began was devastating for the big defensive end. And it made the wait to return to the field that much longer.
"Shoot, man, I've been waiting for a while," said Shaughnessy. "And I felt good last year. I was just like, ah shit, but come back now and get it together.
"Obviously it sucks, but there's nothing I could do about it. I can't sit there and beat the ground about getting hurt. I just got to get in there and rehab and get it right."
It happened midway through the week three matchup with the New York Jets. Actually, it wasn't officially even a play as Lamarr Houston was called for offsides. But that unofficial play was the last for him.
Shaughnessy explains what happened on the play:
"There was a fumble on one of the plays, and the ball was above my head, and I was pulling it down, and I think that's the motion that did it... Because I was pulling the fumble. I actually got it, but there was a penalty, so it didn't matter... That's an awkward way to pull (the ball down)... I just think it's the adrenaline of the game. I was pulling as hard as I can."
The Raiders expect big things from Shaughnessy this season. He also expects big things from himself. But the first step was getting back on the practice field at full speed with his teammates. Initially it was thought that wouldn't happen until training camp. But Shaughnessy wanted to get back as soon as possible and once he had the all clear, he was back.
"It was all based on when I feel good. When my arm felt good, that's when I was going to come back out and play. I'm not going to try to rush it. There's no need to.
"It felt good being out there. You got to get used to the tempo, but as soon as that happens, should be smooth.
"I'm full-go now. If there was a game on Sunday, I'd play."
With Shaughnessy back along with Seymour and Kelly practicing, the Raiders had their entire defensive line on the practice field for the first time this offseason. It will be good for the three day minicamp for them all to be out there together. It has been a while.
Follow me on Twitter @LeviDamien for live in practice tweets.