Joseph's road back from knee surgery -- and staph -- has been slow
Before Davin Joseph can open holes for ball carriers and protect the quarterback, he has to block out the pain, lack of power and frustration that comes with recovering from major knee surgery.
Joseph tore the patellar tendon in his left knee in the third preseason game in 2012 and spent the year on injured reserve. A staph infection – not MRSA – was a summer setback to his recovery and forced him to miss Organized Team Activities and most of training camp. He participated in only a few plays in preseason last Aug.
"It's tough. But it's coming back,’’ Joseph said. “It's also getting back in football. I don't take a snap in OTAs and training camp and then you're kind of thrown into the fire. But progressively, you get better and better every day.
"I'm probably the roughest critic on Davin Joseph. It's been a challenge for us. Not winning magnifies everything times 10, but I've got to focus on myself in order to help this team.’’
A report surfaced earlier this week that Joseph had MRSA but he denied it again Thursday.
“I never had MRSA. I do not have MRSA and never had MRSA, plain and simple,” Joseph said. “I had a staph infection over the summertime, but it wasn’t MRSA.”
Bucs coach Greg Schiano said Joseph is finally starting to get his legs under him.
“He's coming back, playing a big man’s position where you need your butt and legs to move people, and I don’t care who you are, if you’re not able to train the way you’re accustomed to training to play your position, there’s going to be some (difficulty),’’ Schiano said. “But the goal is that we just keep getting better and better and he gets stronger and stronger. If he hadn’t run into some side-tracked issues in his recovery, maybe he’d be further along and feel better. But I think, as of late, like last game, I thought he played better than he has. I think he’s getting back the feel. You’ve got to remember, he only played like 20 snaps in the preseason.”
“He needs his strength and technique to move these big guys. Like I said, I think he’s on that trajectory right now. He’s getting it all back.”