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Leonard Hankerson Looks To Move On From 'Tough' 2014

Posted Dec 30, 2014

Between injury rehab and being inactive, Leonard Hankerson's 2014 certainly wasn't one to remember, but the veteran wide receiver has an eye on the future.

Leonard Hankerson admitted that the 2014 season quite frankly wasn’t something he ever wanted to see happen.

Hankerson started the season on the Redskins’ Reserve/Physically Unable To Perform (PUP) list, as he continued to recover from a torn lateral collateral ligament (LCL) in his left knee that was suffered late during the 2013 season.

He would return to the practice field in October, joining his teammates in individual drills.

At the time of his clearance to run through football drills, Hankerson said he was “like a kid at a candy store” just waiting for the moment of confirmation that his knee would be OK during physical activity.

Then, on Nov. 4, the fourth-year Miami product regained a spot on the active roster, and was even in the lineup during the Redskins’ Week 11 matchup with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

But just merely being on the field was the high point of the season for Hankerson, as he would be inactive for the remaining six games of the season.

When he knew he wouldn’t suit up for the Redskins in the season finale against the Dallas Cowboys last Sunday, Hankerson posted on Instagram a view from his FedExField locker wondering if it was the last time he’d be in that spot on gamedays:

On Monday, Hankerson, who has recorded 81 receptions for 1,081 yards and six touchdowns in four seasons since being drafted by Washington in 2011, said it was a tough situation to deal with a combination of injury rehab and a string of appearances on the inactive list throughout the year.

“When you don’t know (what’s next), it’s tough,” he said. “But I can’t control that. The only thing I can control is what I can do and that’s taking it one day at a time, getting better, working and whatever happens at the end happens.”

Hankerson will be entering a phase of his professional career he’s yet to experience – an expiring contract and an uncertain future of where he’ll be calling home in 2015.

That won’t stop him from grinding hard, though.

“I’m going to be doing the same thing I’ve been doing,” he said. “Taking it into the offseason, work hard, do what I got to do to get better every day, stay on the grind. That’s all I can do, control what I can control.

“That’s all I’ve been saying each and every year and just keep working.”

In terms of his comfort level physically, the 6-foot-2 wide receiver said that he’s feeling great and that he’ll be “getting back to it” quickly.

“I’ll be back and forth [between] here and Florida just working hard, running routes, getting stronger, catching the ball and doing what I can because that’s my job,” he said. “I have to stay in tune to that, so that’s what I’ll do.”

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