Orakpo: 'I just played reckless out there'

Orakpo: 'I just played reckless out there'
August 9, 2013, 2:45 pm
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Tarik El-Bashir gives an update on Redskins injuries

NASHVILLE – Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo acknowledged that he felt a little additional anxiety prior to Thursday night’s 22-21 victory over the Titans. After all, it had been almost 11 months since his last NFL game action and, in the back of his mind, he wondered how his surgically repaired pectoral muscle would hold up.

“But once I got going, I just left the injury behind me,” he said. “I wasn’t really thinking about it. My body felt great. I just played reckless out there. I played hard and acted like I never got hurt before.”

Indeed, Orakpo made his presence felt. In 13 snaps, he recorded a tackle and a sack. On the sack, the two-time Pro Bowler overpowered starting left tackle Michael Roos, then hunted down quarterback Jake Locker from behind for a three-yard loss. 

It wasn't a perfect effort, though. Orakpo also whiffed on Chris Johnson before the Titans running back sprinted 58-yards down the field for a touchdown. That said, Orakpo's outing was more about his health than his performance.

“It felt great, man,” Orakpo said. “I had butterflies going into the game, a little more anxiety than most people. It felt phenomenal, man, because I worked so hard in the offseason to get to this point. I just felt great to be back out there.”

He added: “You really don’t know until you go full speed and everything is live contact. From my standpoint, everything was great.”

Although he played limited minutes, simply getting through a game without suffering a setback was an important milestone for Orakpo and the Redskins, who are hoping his return will spark a pass rush that produced only 32 sacks (tied for 23rd) in 2012.