“Watching Vincent today, he looked good, but I would not describe him as being ready to go play in a National Football League football game,” said Head Coach Norv Turner.
Brown understands that he will not be seeing any game action, but expressed how important it was for him to get back out on the field, even in a limited capacity.
“It was great,” he said with a big grin on his face. “Any injured player always strives to get back on the field, so just taking that step and being able to do individual, run some routes and catch the ball with the guys was great. It felt like a new start for me.”
Truth be told, returning to practice was a small step from what he’d been doing lately in his rehab, but it was a significant one.
“Yesterday I found out I’d be practicing when the trainers came and spoke to me,” he said. “They told me it’s the next step in my rehab. I’ve been busy working the last few weeks running routes on the side, so they said do individual and see how it is and how I feel. And it felt great today.”
The second-year receiver had a tremendous training camp and preseason, catching six balls for 112 yards and two touchdowns in just six quarters of action before he broke his ankle. The team assigned him to Injured Reserve, but with the brand new “Designated to Return”tag that can be assigned to only one player. The hope was that Brown would be able to come back midway through the season, but the rehab process went slower than anticipated. As a result, Brown will miss his entire sophomore year campaign.
“That’s the hard part,” he said. “I won’t say the season was wasted, but it’s tough to miss an entire year. No player wants to sit on the side and miss an entire season. You want to play. And especially with the struggles that we’ve had this year, you can’t help but think you could havehad an impact and change things.”
Still, despite his disappointment, Brown maintains a positive outlook and is already looking forward to making up for lost time during the 2013 season.
“I can’t change what’s happened,” he said. “I can only keep working to get healthy and get ready for next season.”