During the first week of OTAs several weeks ago, slot receiver Jordan Shipley ran periodic routes on the field. It was a show of progress, rehabilitation, adding another number to an already suffocating amount of players vying for a job during what could be an epic position battle at receiver. A handful of weeks ago, Shipley admitted that he still wasn't 100 percent:
"It's not 100 percent, but I'm getting closer," Shipley said after he participated in some 11-on-11 work. "There's still a ways to go….It's just a natural part of it. I'm getting stronger and stronger. It's a significant injury. Right now I'm just (focusing on) jumping and getting in and out of my breaks real fast. That's the main thing I have to fine tune right now."
After three weeks of practices and now the team conducting a mandatory minicamp, Shipley updates his knee, emphasizing that he's that much closer.
“There's still a little bit of stiffness, but nothing big,” Shipley said. “I'm just kind of in the last phase of getting the speed back and all that.”
In a sense Shipley has to be feeling some pressure. A player like Mohamed Sanu, or even Ryan Whalen (who has reportedly put together strong sessions at OTA), could make it that much harder on Shipley to return. So does Shipley risk furthering a setback by returning too soon. Or does he allow patience to win, considering we're still in the month of June, conducting practices that are unlikely to shift any minds on the depth chart?