When it comes to training camp and preseason, you hear the word "precaution" a lot. Even minor injuries that wouldn't typically keep a player out of a game during the season are treated with utmost care by the player and the team. That's not how Marcel Reece sees it, though. The Pro Bowl fullback suffered a foot injury in the team's second preseason game but after missing one practice this week, was back out there practicing.
"It happened Friday night in the game," Reece said of his injury Wednesday. "Early on I kept playing on it and probably made it a little worse. Got the X-Ray Friday night and it came back negative so that was positive. It's still not completely right. I'm still in the boot right now, but the deal is I'm gonna stay in the boot until I step on the field. It won't aggravate it anymore and hopefully make it feel a little better."
That kind of turnaround time for an injury that requires a walking boot is quite impressive. After his initial X-ray, he received an MRI Monday and when it too came back negative, he was back on the field. The last player we saw in a walking boot was D.J. Hayden and he was wearing his for nearly three months. Then of course, there was Jacoby Ford who had his walking boot for months and Darren McFadden before that. It makes Reece look almost superhuman.
"I never compare myself or any injuries to anyone else's injury," said Reece. "Even if they technically may be the same injury. I've always been a fast healer. I don't ever think about being hurt or plan on being hurt and never want to sit out of anything. Most people can't remember the last time I was hurt."
It's crazy to think Reece could take the field and start Friday after starting the week on the sideline with the prognosis as "indefinite". This is especially true because it's the preseason where it would seem there's nothing on the line and no need to put unnecessary stress on the injury.
"He was full-go today," Dennis Allen said of Reece Wednesday. "He was full practice, looked good out there running around, so he should be good to go for the game."
It sounds as if Allen intends on playing Reece if even just to start. Reece said if it's up to him, he'll play.
"That's not my decision," Reece added. "My job is just to go out there and play. Now if coach tells me they don't want to play me in a preseason game, then I respect their decision but I want all my teammates to know as a leader and captain on this team that if I'm able to play and help them win I'm gonna be out there. No matter if it's a preseason game, Super Bowl, first week of the year, no matter what. If I'm able to go out there and contribute and not hurt this team, I'm gonna be out there on the field."
This third preseason game is always the most crucial. It's the one where the teams gameplan as they would during the regular season and the starters play three quarters. Reece is part of that.
The fourth and final preseason game is the one where the veteran starters watch while the backups and hopefuls play. Reece said he is focused on this game and will be sitting out the final game in preparation for the season opener against the Jets, September 7.
In the meantime, once and for all, and I'm talking to you, Marcel. Tell us who you really are.