Lions safety Tracy Walker is at the start of a long injury rehab, but his attitude couldn’t be any more positive.
Back in Week 3 against the Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions safety Tracy Walker went down and was carted off with what was quickly called an ankle injury. But head coach Dan Campbell dropped the dreaded “A” word after the game, and the Lions captain indeed suffered as season-ending Achilles’ tear.
Walker was back in the Lions’ locker room on Wednesday, albeit confined to a knee scooter, and he spoke to reporters for the first time since his injury. He had just welcomed his second child to the world days before being injured, so it’s certainly been a hectic time in the Walker household.
But Walker’s attitude, outwardly observed by reporters and with his words, is nothing but positive.
Tracy Walker has fiercely positive attitude as he hits lengthy rehab
Via Ben Raven of MLive.
I mean, when I found out (about the extent of the injury), yes, I was a little sad,” Walker said. “But at the end of the day, I’m alive, well and blessed. I have two beautiful baby boys. I have a beautiful wife. I’m in a blessed position. Life goes on, and I’m going to keep battling. At the end of the day, I control what I can control. I’m just looking forward to the future and continue to bounce back.”
Walker also has a return goal in mind.
You know what? I’m circling right now, If I had to be honest with you, OTAs,” Walker said. “You know, that’s the first step. First step is trying to get ready for OTAs. From that point on, but like I said, for OTAs, I got to get out of this boot. I take it one step at a time, one day at a time. I don’t ever want to get too ahead if that makes sense.”
The first OTAs in mid-April would be seven months or so removed from the injury for Walker. That is very optimistic. The Lions have two recent torn Achilles’ examples as reference.
Cornerback Jeff Okudah suffered his torn Achilles in Week 1 last season, and he wasn’t fully cleared until training camp. Defensive end Romeo Okwara suffered his in Week 4 last season, and more than a year later he seems to be at least a few more weeks out from being able to play.
Even though he can’t play, via Justin Rogers of the Detroit News, Walker is embracing his role as a team leader.
I do my best,” Walker said. “It’s different for me doing it on the field compared to off the field, but like I said, anything I see needed, little adjustments or whatever, corrections that I might see from the other side, then I give my input on it. The guys listen. They trust me well. They believe in everything I’m about, so it’s great being able to be with everyone still.”
Week 1 next season would be nearly a year out from the injury for Walker, but time will tell if he hits that mark to be back playing. But he’s entering a long rehab process with as much positivity as he possibly can, and everyone around him in the building at Allen Park can’t help but absorb it.