FRISCO, Texas – Travis Frederick is back to on-field football work.
Just like riding a bike again, right?
"A very rusty bike," he said.
Frederick won a season-long battle against Guillain-Barre syndrome, an auto-immune disease that attacks the nervous system. The veteran center is taking part in individual drills during organized team activities (OTAs) with the goal of being full-go at training camp.
The four-time Pro Bowler acknowledges there's a physical transition back to the intricacies of his job as the point man on the offensive line. After all, he spent nine months working diligently just to rebuild the strength in his muscles.
"When you get a chance to go out and do those things that you've been doing for such a long time, there's such a muscle memory that's associated with it," he said. "But then again, any time that you take time away from it, you get rusty."
Frederick is pleased with his recovery, though. And, despite the frustration of missing an entire season with the debilitating illness, he did gain a different – and helpful – perspective away from the field.
"I see the game a little bit differently than I did before," he said. "A lot of times during the season you are so focused on your technique and focused on what it takes physically to get your job done, you don't get a great chance to advance mentally. And a lot of times you do that during the offseason, you do your best to do that.
"But to get to see real live looks all the time and see the way defenses are disguising things and what kind of coverages they're moving to using more normally, I think was really beneficial to me. And I've seen the benefits of that already in OTAs."
Frederick said his practice participation likely will remain limited until training camp because he also underwent an offseason shoulder repair. As a precaution, he's on a modified offseason plan with the athletic training staff.
Next week, he's scheduled to meet with his doctors for a "sort of a final check-in" and tests regarding his recovery from GBS. His improvement has been steady, and all signs point to him being ready for camp.
That'll be the next step in knocking off the on-field rust.
"It's just another layer there, but I feel good about the progress that's been made," he said.