OXNARD, Calif. – Wide receiver Danny Coale is hoping to take the next step in his return to the routine Friday.
Coale joined padded practice on a limited basis for the first time since he aggravated his repaired ACL during the first day of training camp. The 2012 draft pick went through individual drills Thursday afternoon, and he hopes to build on that at Friday's session.
"I'll be at it again. Yesterday I just wanted to do individual and see how it responded overnight," Coale said. "I'll come back and do a little bit of team today and see how it responds – just trying to be smart about it."
Coale was limited by the rehab to his ACL tear, suffered toward the tail end of the 2012 season, throughout the offseason. The recovery process continued into training camp when he experienced swelling after just one day of workouts with the team in July.
"We didn't know how it was going to go coming in. We had a plan that first day to see how it reacts, and it reacted pretty poorly," he said. "So we took some time off to get the swelling down, make sure it's all the way down and then come back out."
There was no news to report after Coale's first day back on Thursday. That has to come as a sign of encouragement, but he said he intends to be as cautious as possible to keep from suffering any setbacks in his progress. [embedded_ad]
"Line one is get healthy, make sure you're healthy so you can go – be at your best during your opportunities," he said. "I can't worry about when or how they're going to come, but they'll come. I'm just trying to get healthy, and I feel good right now. That's the most positive thing."
It remains to be seen how any of that affects Coale's availability for the Hall of Fame Game against Miami on Sunday night. The plan is to wait and see, but Coale said he'd be cautious about entering a game situation with so few reps during training camp.
"We'll see how it goes today. I want to be healthy, I want to have some good reps and some good practice," he said. "The problem with Sunday is I'd go in not having any reps against live guys."
Coale said the confidence to re-enter live action will come with good practices. He said winning back that confidence will be critical going forward, especially before he returns to a game.
"There's a jump from rehab to practice, and there's going to be a jump from practice to game," he said. "That's why I want to make sure I have some trust and some confidence in it."