Daunte's Discourse

With all the speculation regarding his status, quarterback Daunte Culpepper decided it was time to speak out on his situation. So Culpepper sent out an e-mail to members of the South Florida media. Here's what Culpepper had to say.

"There has been a lot of speculation about my status with the Dolphins so I thought it best to weigh in on the matter. Since I am a player/agent and there are discussions about my career taking place, I expect to be included in those discussions sooner rather than later. As it pertains to being traded or released I don't get to make that call so I will await the Dolphins decision. I am sure that they will do what is in the best interest of the team. While those decisions are being made, I am continuing to do everything I can to prepare to play at the level of expectations of the Dolphins (if they keep me), the NFL fans and most importantly myself. Until this week it never entered my mind that I wouldn't be the starting quarterback of the Miami Dolphins this coming season.

"I have been frustrated since last year about the way that my injury and rehab have been portrayed. I want to take this opportunity to clear things up. When my initial injury happened with the Vikings I was told to expect a 12-18 month process of healing from the time of surgery which was in November 2005. The Dolphins were told the same thing. When I was cleared to practice and play ahead of schedule that meant that my ligaments were stable. However, I was not 100% by anyone?s evaluation in terms of mobility. During the Buffalo game of 2006, while being tackled, I injured my knee cap which had nothing to do with my three ligaments. Even though it was somewhat painful, I wanted to continue playing since my knee was continuing to get stronger. Coach Saban felt that 'I could not protect myself' so he sat me down. I disagreed but submitted to his plan. I remember saying then that 'everything that is good for you doesn't always feel good to you.' I hated not being allowed to play but in hindsight it was the best decision for my health.

"As I continued to rehab during the 2006 season the pain under my knee cap did not go away. I visited my surgeon Dr. James Andrews, who gave me good news and bad news. The good news was that my initial three surgically repaired ligaments were progressing very well. The bad news was that I would need a scope procedure to fix the knee cap pain. The thought was that since I was in the midst of healing and not expected to play I might as well get it fixed. Dr. Andrews let me know that it would be 4-6 months of healing. In comparison to the major surgery to fix three ligaments this procedure was considered to be 'minor.'

"Last month I was encouraged about my progress as I was doing extremely well. I had spent three months working 5 days a week on my own and with the Dolphins training staff. My surgeon asked me not to push the process. Specifically, I have been told to begin to ease into things after May 1st. This is the plan based on Dr. Andrews's timeframe. I must say based on how I feel, I am right on schedule. It may not meet the timeframe of some peoples expectations, and if not I understand. I just won't let those expectations cause me to make the same mistake again. I plan on playing at a high level for a lot longer in this league, so I want to do what is necessary to get healthy and stay healthy."

Daunte Culpepper

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