RICHMOND—After missing the offseason while recovering from shoulder surgery, Redskins cornerback Tracy Porter had one goal in mind as training camp began this week: make up for lost time.
“I’m starting to fit in pretty nicely,” said Porter, who began participating in team drills on Thursday. “I’m talking to the guys on the field and off the field trying to develop that chemistry.”
Porter, who signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Redskins in March, was injured last October while playing for the Raiders. The oft-injured veteran was making a tackle when he felt a twinge in his shoulder.
Porter, however, did not miss a game. He chose to put off surgery until the offseason and, instead, managed the discomfort by rehabbing the injury.
“I felt it go back a little,” Porter said of his shoulder. “I finished the game out. I finished the offseason out and had surgery in the offseason. I just rehabbed, strengthened the muscles around it to make sure nothing further was damaged. I wore a little brace, and once the season was over, I had the surgery and everything was fine, nothing was further damaged. It was just a little clean up and repair and got it back together.”
Although Porter did not participate in on-field activities during OTAs and minicamp, he was in the meeting rooms and on the sidelines taking “mental reps.” The soon-to-be 28-year-old acknowledged that it wasn’t the same as getting actual reps, but he also said he's confident he’ll be up to speed by Week 1. Head Coach Jay Gruden, meantime, confirmed that Porter will be a full participant in camp.
“Injuries are not good,” Porter said. “But I try to look at all things in a positive light. I used the [time off] to address the game in a different aspect. I had to be on the sidelines, so I [focused] on the mental [part of the game].”
Porter is expected to play a prominent role for the Redskins this season. He’ll be the third cornerback behind starters DeAngelo Hall and David Amerson and will likely see the majority of his playing time in the slot.
“I may be doing some nickel, because I have a history of doing that in recent years,” he said. “But I’ll play wherever they need me. I’m here to help the team win.”