“If I had to throw out a number, I’d say 85 or 90 (percent healthy) – something like that,” Sitton said following the Green Bay Packers’ organized team activity practice on Tuesday.
It’s easy to forget what Sitton dealt with last season – and easy to take it for granted – considering he earned Pro Bowl and All-Pro accolades.
Sitton tore a ligament in his left big toe during the Week 8 loss at New Orleans. Week after week for the rest of the season, it was the same painful ordeal: rest the toe through the practice week to get the pain and swelling under control, play at an exceptional level despite the pain and lack of practice time, then deal with another week of pain and swelling as a byproduct of three-plus hours of the NFL’s version of trench warfare.
“It was extremely tough,” Sitton said. “It was a pretty severe injury. I don’t know, man. I’ve always been the type to play through stuff. I don’t know. I’ve always been that way. I don’t want to be on the sideline. I had goals personally and had goals as a team. Not being out there would hurt my team so I wanted to be out there to help my team. I didn’t practice at all, so that was a big part of it. Mike (McCarthy) and (offensive line) coach (James) Campen were great about my schedule. They allowed me to do pretty much what I needed and not have to do a lot else. That helped a lot.”
If 2014 was one of the most painful years of his career, it also was one of the most rewarding. For the first time, he was named to the Pro Bowl; he was an alternate in 2012. And he was voted second-team All-Pro for the second consecutive season.
“I think so,” Sitton said about the honors being more rewarding this time. “Those are my goals every year. Whenever you hit your goals, it’s very gratifying – especially when you battle through something all year. Obviously, the main goal of winning another championship, we’ve fallen short the last four years, so that’s disappointing. That’s always the No. 1 goal. If you win championships, all the other stuff comes along. Disappointed that we haven’t done that.”
Sitton, who decided not to have surgery, said he can “definitely still feel” the injury but it hasn’t been hindering his movement during these offseason workouts. He also said there’s a chance for re-injury, which would sidetrack his months of recovery.
“There’s always that concern,” he said, “but a few weeks ago we started doing some heavy treatment and rehab and stuff with it and it started feeling a lot better. I’m pretty confident that as we continue on that track -- and having five weeks off before camp -- I think we’ll be good to go.”
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