McCoy hopeful ailing ankle can recover in time

Posted Jan 4, 2018

LeSean McCoy's ankle injury kept him out of practice for a second straight day. His ankle is improving, but McCoy wants to be healthy enough to use his elusive running style.

He was only able to go through stretching drills with his teammates at practice Thursday as he was a non-participant for a second straight day due to his ankle injury suffered last Sunday. But he is out of the immobilizer boot he had to wear early in the week. With the Bills biggest game in 17 seasons on tap this weekend in Jacksonville, LeSean McCoy desperately wants to play, but he also wants to be healthy enough to play effectively.

“I’ve felt okay. Just each day trying to get better,” McCoy said. “It’s a big game so I’m trying to get out there. It takes some time.”

Head coach Sean McDermott was buoyed by the fact that his feature back was dressed for practice, even if he only participated in team stretch Thursday.

“It is encouraging. We’ll just see how he does,” McDermott said. “I think we’re moving in the right direction. Will we be able to get there in time? We’ll see.”

Right when the injury occurred on Sunday against Miami, McCoy pounded the turf with his fist partly out of frustration that he was hurt and partly due to the pain he was experiencing at the time. The Pro Bowl back has moved past the disappointment of being injured and is now focused on healing up and preparing for the Jaguars.

“The good thing is it wasn’t as bad as I thought,” he said. “I’ve just been treating it since I got back from the game. It’s been feeling a lot better. I’m out of the boot. I can walk around without any pain so that’s a plus.”

“He’s in a good place mentally, so that’s part of it, having a positive mindset,” said McDermott. “He’s focused on the task at hand.”

The main issue appears to be whether the ankle can heal sufficiently enough to allow McCoy to play with his hard-cutting, elusive running style that makes him the dynamic back that he is.

“We’ll see. I don’t want to make any promises,” he said. “A lot of my teammates have been asking me the same questions and I don’t want to lie to them. People that know me know I want to be out there. I’ve been in a situation like this here before. I played on a bad hamstring and I didn’t do well at all and I kind of hurt us and I don’t want to be in that same situation.”

McCoy is referring to his decision to play on a strained hamstring, ironically at Miami, in Week 3 of the 2015 season. He aggravated the same hamstring he had injured in training camp the Thursday before the game, but chose to play anyway. Though the Bills won handily he managed just 16 yards on 11 carries, as he had a tough time bursting through creases and changing direction.  

“I just want to be able to cut well enough where I don’t have a lot of pain when I’m cutting,” said McCoy. “I just want to be close or the best as far as 100 percent I can get. But a game like this you’ve got to lay it on the line. If I can’t get to 100 percent as long as I’m out there and I can run effective enough, I’ll do it. We’ll just see.”

McCoy said the plan is to stay off it as much as possible, which could mean he sits out Friday’s practice as well to allow for further recovery and healing. He did say however, that he does want to test it so he knows what he’s capable of doing.

“The game is Sunday and today is only Thursday,” said McCoy. “I’ve got some time.”