Leon Hall is familiar with it. After tearing his left Achilles in '11, his goal in rehabilitation targeted training camp in '12. He succeeded. Despite struggling early in the season -- allowed a touchdown in week one, and a handful of struggles in the middle of the season, Hall returned to form after recording three interceptions in the final four games, including a pick-six during a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers that would eventually earn Cincinnati a postseason berth. He recorded another pick-six against the Houston Texans in the wild card round.
After suffering an Achilles tear in his right leg against the Detroit Lions earlier this season, nearly a month earlier than his injury in '11, he's keeping the same timeline.
"You don’t want to just compare them because it’s the same injury, but it may respond differently, you never know," Hall said via the Cincinnati Enquirer. "It’s responded so far exactly how I've wanted it to and how the trainers have wanted it to, but it’s so early and you just never know."
When players suffer significant injuries, sometimes they rehabilitate with team trainers and then go home. Not Hall, who sticks around with the team, "whether in the training room or peaking his head into meetings."
"When you’re winning it’s not as hard because you’re happy and the guys you’re around every day, that you are used to being around every day, are playing well, so that’s good," he said via the Enquirer. "Especially the first couple of games were kind of rough. But kind of settles in. You kind of get used to it."
There could be an interesting development with Hall's contract this offseason. Despite being signed through 2015 with base salaries of $6.8 million and $7.7 million in '14 and '15 respectively, he has no guaranteed money remaining on his current deal (save for the annual workout bonus of $100,000).
There's a chance that the team may look at restructuring Hall's deal, especially since he has a cap value of $8.7 million and $9.6 million over the next two seasons and he's coming off another torn Achilles. It might benefit both sides to work out another extension, maybe even giving Cincinnati the resources to work on a Michael Johnson deal.