Niles Paul says doctor told him his ankle injury was 'worst he's ever seen'

The injury looked gruesome at the time and left some wondering when Niles Paul would return. Today, Paul let everyone know via Twitter just how bad his dislocated left ankle injury was last August. He said noted foot specialist Dr. Robert Anderson called it the "worst he’s ever seen."

But Paul added that Anderson was surprised by Paul’s progress in his recovery. Even teammates say Paul has been an "animal" in his rehab. And Paul later tweeted that Anderson was surprised "when I told him I was running, cutting, jumping, & even hoopin again."

That’s obviously a good sign for the Washington Redskins, who had a tough time keeping their tight ends healthy last season (with the exception of Jordan Reed). But this is one reason why they wanted to sign veteran Vernon Davis. The Redskins need insurance in case their depth is again tested, or if Paul’s complete recovery takes a longer time.

This offseason, there was some concern about when Paul would be able to complete his comeback. At the owners meetings, coach Jay Gruden said Paul likely would be out until training camp.

But what they really need is for him to return to his level of play before the injury. Paul had won the starting tight end job entering camp after bulking up to about 250-255 pounds. Reed still would have been the primary pass target.

The injury vs. Cleveland in the preseason opener was tough for his teammates to see as well, knowing the effort Paul had put into his game. After the season, Paul said he had lost the weight gained during the 2015 offseason.

Friday, Paul was eyeing one honor in particular: The Ed Block Courage Award, given to the player who has overcome a tough injury to return. But he’ll have competition for that one as linebacker Junior Galette tweeted his own desire to win that award.