This week the Raiders convened for the first time in 2018. These first workouts are just that; workouts. Players lift weights, rehab injuries, and do on-field work, but no coaches outside of strength and conditioning coaches are allowed on the field with them.
Among those rehabbing is Gareon Conley according to NFL Network’s Steve Wyche.
“He [Conley] is recovering from shin surgery [and] they said he’s not been fully cleared for workouts so far,” Wyche said on NFL Network via USA Today. “He is lifting, but they are going to take their time with him to make sure he’s good to go once training camp starts.”
That fact alone can seem a bit alarming considering he first suffered his shin injury in last year’s June minicamp.
At the time, the reports were that he would be back for training camp. Not necessarily on time for camp, but that he would return. He did not. Conley would spend the entirety of camp standing on the sideline in a bucket hat watching his new teammates prepare for the season.
After confusion as to the exact nature of the shin injury, Conley eventually returned to practice just prior to the start of the season, which appeared as if he might be ready for the opener. He wasn’t, but he did finally make his debut in week against the Jets.
The following week in Washington, Conley aggravated the injury and was lost for the season.
That was September 24. We’re now over six months since then and still Conley is not fully ready. Based on that fact, it would seem fairly concerning.
Then again, maybe not.
It took the Raiders two months to place him in injured reserve, which suggests they thought the injury would just heal on its own, perhaps misdiagnosing it. So, all the while Conley needed surgery, he wasn’t receiving it. He would get that surgery on November 20.
Conley not doing on-field work to start workouts is not unusual. There are plenty of players who start out this process in rehab. He isn’t going to walk into the facility and on day one start running and cutting. Even if he thinks he can, the staff may not let him. The last time the Raiders saw him he was on crutches. He has to ease back into this and the staff has plenty of time to do that.
Obviously, the team would like to have him ready to take the field with his teammates by the start of OTA’s in May, so he can have a full offseason to prepare for next season. Until then, this is basically all conditions normal.