Redskins cornerback Richard Crawford, who missed all of last season with a serious knee injury, says he expects to be ready for the start of training camp on July 24.
“It’s coming along well,” Crawford told CSNWashington.com on Saturday. “I’m getting my vertical back. I’m running faster. I’m doing every [defensive back] drill and every DB movement. That’s all I can ask for.”
The 23-year-old shed his knee brace four weeks ago and has been working off to the side during OTAs, doing conditioning drills with the team’s other rehabbing players. He said he expects to visit Dr. James Andrews next month and, if all goes well, receive medical clearance.
“I should be fully cleared by training camp,” Crawford said. “I passed all the tests before, but Dr. Andrews wanted me get my quad stronger before he cleared me. He said the goal is for you to play this season, not do" OTAs.
A year ago, Crawford appeared to be on track to claim a job as a backup cornerback and the first string punt returner. But he was hurt in the Redskins’ third preseason game while returning a punt.
This summer, Crawford will face increased competition at both positions as he competes for a spot on the 53-man roster. The Redskins re-signed cornerback E.J. Biggers, added veteran free agent Tracy Porter and drafted another corner, Bashaud Breeland, in the fourth round. Meantime, the list of punt return candidates now includes Andre Roberts.
“You always kind of look at your competition,” Crawford said. “But I can’t worry about competition. I just worry about what I do. Because I control what I do. If I do that, I’ll be fine.”
In the coming weeks, Crawford plans to ramp up the intensity of his rehab. He also intends to clear the mental hurdle that goes along with recovering from a major injury.
“Physically I’m fine,” he said. “With an injury like this, it’s mentally getting it back. I feel like I’m almost there, though. I know I’ll be ready for training camp.”