Seahawks’ CB DeShawn Shead discusses his long road recovering from ACL surgery
Seahawks cornerback DeShawn Shead has spent almost a year recovering from an ACL injury that ended his season last year. Having been activated from the PUP list in early December, Shead now enters the third and final week of practice before the Seahawks must decide whether to bring him up on the active roster or add him to the injured reserve.
“It’s definitely been a grind,” Shead, 28, told 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton of the recovery process. “Definitely been tough. There’s lots of ups and downs to this. My goal was to be back (for the regular season) and here we are, last several games before postseason and haven’t been able to get out there. So it’s definitely been a long road, but my thought was just to stay positive and keep grinding and working hard and take it day by day, because this is literally a day-by-day process.”
Shead credits the Seahawks’ training staff for their help as he works his way back to the field – but he’s also getting some advice from teammates who have suffered devastating knee injuries. Jeremy Lane, Jimmy Graham and Jordan Simone have all counseled Shead throughout his rehab.
That rehabilation hasn’t been easy; it took at least five months after his initial surgery before Shead could complete lateral running drills.
One of the most painful aspects was working to regain the full range of motion in his knee.
“I’d rather practice than do a rehab; just say that,” Shead said with a laugh. “But it’s more of a mental grind. It can be painful at times, especially pushing with range of motion with an ACL injury. There’s just a range of motion that you don’t have, so you’ve constantly got to over-push and create that pain to gain range.”
Like others who have suffered significant injuries, Shead acknowledges it can be emotionally and mentally trying. In one instance, Shead’s recovery timeline was delayed by several weeks after an MRI on his knee revealed excessive scar tissue, triggering another scope.
Accepting a realistic timeline for recovery can also be difficult. Shead expected to be back on the active roster during the regular season, but with just two games remaining on the Seahawks’ schedule, he has yet to be activated.
He says practice for the last two weeks (his first time practicing since January) has been “great,” but it’s easy to jump the gun on rejoining his teammates.
“The way I think and the way I prepare, my mental game is probably ahead of where my body actually really is,” Shead said. “I’m at the point now where it’s pretty safe to practice and get better, go out there, and react. But it’s still… I’m going to be working on this for the next couple years just to stay on top of it. To be healthy and to be smart about it, just to stay on top of it as much as possible to prevent it from happening again.”
Until he’s able to return, Shead is grateful for any time he gets to spend on the field with the rest Seattle’s squad.
“I’m appreciative of the opportunity to be there on the sideline.”