Tackle Max Starks has been slowly working his way back onto the field after being taken off the physically unable to perform list earlier this week.
Per the new collective bargaining agreement Starks isn’t able to practice in pads until Friday, but has gone through the conditioning test and will have his second day of working out with a helmet and jersey on Thursday, just not taking part in the team and individual padded drills.
Starks doesn’t expect things to be a full-go on Friday, just participating in the individual offensive line drills in pads.
“I am not going full go,” said Starks. “It will be a gradual immersion into the offense.”
Starks said he will not know fully how his knee will react, but once he goes full blow that will be the true test.
“The biggest thing is getting pads on and working,” said Starks. “You need a different type of contact level. It’s a different intensity level when you have pads on and that will give me a better indication.”
Starks is in a battle for the left tackle spot along with rookie Mike Adams and hopes that as he works his way back onto the field he can prove he is worthy of the job.
“If everything does go well I would step in and play,” said Starks. “It’s a long way away. There are a lot of things that have to be in order and I have to show a lot of progress before we get to that point.”
Starks knows that it might be another week or two before a starting left tackle is named, and feels confident that the line will work as one once that happens.
“We are going into our second preseason game and it’s not as big a concern,” said Starks. “As long as you have it set by the fourth preseason game so those guys can work together.
“You don’t want to just give it to somebody or assume somebody is going to be able to fill that role. Keeping it open and making sure it is a competition helps find the five best guys to put on the line because it’s such a unique position versus any other on the field. There are no individual accolades with the group. It’s one unit and we only go as far as the weakest guys in the chain. It has to be five cohesive guys.”
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