Allen Hurns’ horrific lower-leg injury appeared to be the type that might cause him to miss at least part of the 2019 NFL season.
But the Dallas Cowboys receiver is recovering fast and he told reporters on Tuesday that he expects to be fully ready when training camp opens next month.
Hurns, 27, ran pass routes on Tuesday for the first time since badly dislocating his left ankle and breaking his fibula during the NFC wild-card game against the Seattle Seahawks on Jan. 5. He said he will participate in individual drills on Thursday, the final day of camp.
Hurns was injured after catching a pass in the first quarter of the wild-card contest and was taken to the hospital with his leg in an air cast. He soon underwent surgery.
“I still get a little cringy thinking about it, but you know what’s surprising going through that? It wasn’t like the worst pain in my life,” Hurns told reporters in Frisco, Texas. “I was more freaked out about my ankle facing another way, but it was crazy for sure. Especially I had to stay off social media with everybody tagging me and things like that showing me the videos. I try not to watch it.”
Hurns was unable to put weight on the lower leg for two months. The first step was jogging, and now he describes himself as 90 percent recovered.
“It’s a progression thing,” Hurns said. “That’s the great thing about it. Each week you come in and you see that, ‘OK, I progressed to this,’ and you can look back and say I’m not where I was. That’s the great thing.”
Hurns caught just 20 passes for 295 yards and two touchdowns last season in his first year with Dallas after playing his first four campaigns with the Jacksonville Jaguars. His best season was in 2015 when he established career highs of 64 receptions, 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns.
The meager 2018 production adds another element, as Hurns is due to be paid $4 million in base salary in 2019 with a salary cap hit of $6.25 million.
He said he is aware the Cowboys might approach with an ultimatum: Take a pay cut or be released.
“I know that I’d return. I’m not sure where it’s going to be,” Hurns said. “My main thing is to get healthy, put together a great training camp and go from there.”