The news that wide receiver DeVier Posey would receive after his Achilles surgery would be the words that would propel him through his difficult days of recovery.
"I'll be totally honest," Posey said. "When I went and got my surgery from Dr. Robert Anderson in North Carolina, he told me, 'I think at five months you'll be able to run routes.' I knew it was something I held kind of close and dear to my heart because I didn't want to set an expectation for myself and not be able to fulfill it and so it was like a personal goal that I had to be able to do things at six months and be close."
Posey found inspiration in his other professional athletes who had sustained similar injuries and did his homework on them.
"I had a lot of free time when my leg was sitting up and icing in the cast and all those things and losing all my muscles," Posey remembers. "I did a lot of research on guys who had Achilles, all the way back to like Dominique Wilkins. I looked at guys like Kendall Hunter, Da'quan Bowers, a bunch of guys just to see their progress and the milestones that they hit at whichever months. A big guy I looked at was Demaryius Thomas because he's a wide receiver and we play similar positions so I knew I wanted to sort of mirror that kind of timeframe and maybe even push."
Posey said he set small goals for himself and tried to beat them. Once he was out of the boot, he had to go back to basic, small exercises to work his way back to his pre-injury form. Every step was important in the rehab process.
"In our training room, there were days where it was just like calf raises and normal stuff like bandwork. We have a trainer A.J. (Van Valkenburgh) and he pushed me. He pushed me. He told me, 'Yo, these days are the times that's going to make the difference if you take these small exercises. You got to build. You're back to square one."
While most athletes take anywhere from six to nine months to recover, Posey always felt he would fall somewhere in that range. He did. After just seven months, the second-year wide receiver returned to practice this week.