ASHBURN, Va. -- Family members have urged him to retire. Many players probably would have done so, knowing how difficult it is to return from three surgeries on the same quadriceps tendon within a year.
Adam Carriker isn't ready to do so however. So he keeps rehabbing seven or eight hours a day. And, yes, he's upbeat about returning at some point in the future. That doesn't mean it's an easy road he's driving down.
"There's a few times I've taken my Louisivlle Slugger and we've had to replace a few things in my house," Carriker said.
The Washington Redskins defensive end felt terrific entering the 2012 season because of his knowledge of the defense and ability to anticipate what plays were coming. He was ready to improve on a season in which he recorded a career-best 5.5 sacks. Then came the injury in Week 2.
Now his focus is on increasing the range of motion in his right knee. He said a typical knee should get to 134 degrees; the best he can get to now is 120 degrees, though that represents progress. However, he can get there after working out for nearly a half hour.
"The key thing is I have to pop out of bed at 2 a.m. and be able to get there on my own," Carriker said. "That's what we're working towards."
The Redskins placed him on the physically unable to perform list, which means he can't come off the list until Week 7 at the earliest. Part of the reason they kept him around is because of his work ethic. A lesser player, or one who didn't work as hard, likely would have been cut.
And Carriker pushes on, working out at Redskins Park for two hours in the morning, then doing more work at home before heading to an independent rehab facility for more work.
"When I say seven to eight hours a day people look at me like I'm lying and full of crap," Carriker said. "Well, spend a day with me. It's what I have to do to get better, and to me it's worth it."