Gordon watches and waits

June 4th, 2009 – 5:31 PM by Judd Zulgad

Charles Gordon was returning a punt in the second quarter of the Vikings’ 28-27 victory over Green Bay last Nov. 9 when his season came to a sudden end. Tackled by the Packers’ Desmond Bishop on the play, Gordon’s left ankle appeared to be completely twisted around. Fox went so far as to not show the replay after a commercial break that took place while the Vikings medical staff attended to Gordon on the Metrodome turf.

Two weeks later, Gordon had surgery in North Carolina on his left ankle. Doctors had to fix a broken fibula and also repair ligament damage. Soon thereafter, Gordon began a long and arduous rehab process that continues this spring. It hasn’t always been easy for a cornerback who had made big strides before the injury and was being used in the nickel defense.

As he was during the Vikings’ three-day minicamp last weekend, Gordon was on the sideline again Thursday during Organized Team Activities, watching his teammates go through drills. “You can’t rush [that injury] back,” Vikings coach Brad Childress said. “Shoot, there is nobody that is working harder at trying to get back than Chuck. It’s just a time and distance thing. He’s got some time yet; a month and a half or so. We are hoping for some big leaps here coming forward. He has put himself in a position with his work; he is doing everything he can.” 

Afterward, we also caught up with Gordon.

Q. How are you doing?

A. “It’s coming along. Only time will tell. Day-by-day I feel better.”

Q. What is realistic for you to be on the field? Start of training camp?

A. “The best case scenario is the start of training camp but I need time. I don’t really know.”

Q. Was that tough to accept, the fact that you can’t rush back?

A. “It’s hard. Being out here and not being able to run around with the guys and practice and do things I could before the injury. It is tough mentally, but I just have to stay patient and I’ll get back on.”

Q. Where are you at in the rehab process?

A. “I’m doing a lot of jump rope, calf raises, I use the speed ladder, footwork and stuff. I jog a little bit. Backpedal. I can do a little bit of that, just not to where I need to be yet.”

Q. How tough is that going to be to remain patient? Especially as things get better and you probably feel as if you’re ready?

A. “There’s no pressure on me. The coaching staff is totally behind me, the trainers. We’re all in it together in this process. It’s not going to be that tough.”

Q. What can you do being out here to watch practice? Do you get the mental reps?

A. “Exactly. I get the mental reps and actually I get a chance to learn the safeties and the [defensive] line and the linebackers, what they’re doing. Try to understand the whole scheme of things, which in turn will help me out when I’m on the field.”

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