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Adam Hayward Making Strides In Recovery

Posted Apr 22, 2015

Placed on injured-reserve after a freak leg injury last season, linebacker and special teams captain Adam Hayward said he feels great heading into offseason workouts.

Placed on injured-reserve after a freak leg injury last season, linebacker and special teams captain Adam Hayward said he feels great heading into offseason workouts.

Adam Hayward wasn’t shedding tears because of the physical pain.

One thing that was hard to break to the 6-1, 240-pound linebacker – stronger than any bone for that matter – was he’d be out for an extended period of time.

The Redskins placed him on injured-reserve Nov. 24, the day after the team’s Week 12 loss to the San Francisco 49ers, after suffering a tibial plateau fracture in his right leg.

“It killed me,” said Hayward, who missed the last five games of 2014. “I love the game. I love playing.”

At that point of the season, Hayward was tied for third in the NFL in special teams tackles (11). Hayward, who was named the Redskins’ special teams captain in his first season with the team, suffered the injury early in the third quarter while downing a punt near San Francisco’s 20-yard line.

Hayward went airborne for the bouncing ball, but landed wrong. He was helped off the field, laughing initially in disbelief. Then, the emotions set in.

“I feel like I’m letting everybody down,” he told reporters after the game. “That’s the worst part.”

Players comforted Hayward, embracing him on their way out of Santa Clara, Calif.

Fast-forward to Monday: Hayward was welcomed back with hugs to Redskins Park when he walked in Monday for voluntary workouts. This time, it was a positive vibe. Hayward is feeling it.

“Man, the first day was great,” he told Redskins.com. “Pretty much seeing everybody, seeing everybody come back here and ready to work. It’s awesome just to see that in everyone’s eyes.”

Hayward was looking forward to this day. In fact, he was looking forward to it the day he was placed on injured reserve last season. He said he wants to do everything in his power to stay on the field as long as he can.

That meant treating the offseason as if he was preparing for the Super Bowl. Before Hayward went hunting or worked on his property – tending to his several kinds of livestock – he worked out and rehabbed his leg.

Hayward said his leg feels great, although there are a few minor things he needs to “polish up” during the next several weeks. He said he’ll be ready to go – and, of course, missing any more games is not in his plans.

“I’m excited to get down [to the weight room] and lead these guys again,” Hayward said about offseason workouts. “To have fun and just win this year, man.”

Hayward said the new strength program at Redskins Park will aid him in his total recovery. New head strength and conditioning coach Mike Clark implemented a “position-specific” regimen for the players, and the program revolves around Olympic lifts. Players will be exercising on their feet for 80 percent of the workouts.

“The new strength coach knows what he’s talking about,” Hayward said. “It’s great getting in there just doing different things. You know it’s the real deal so I’m excited to see what he does.”

Hayward is just excited for the season in general.

“I’m ready to get back, run around and play,” he said.

RELATED LINKS:
-- Adam Hayward: ‘You Need To Have Attitude’
-- Hayward’s Comeback Story Continues Vs. Bucs

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