When Tracy Walker was injured on the field at US Bank Stadium during Week 3 of the 2022 season, the Detroit Lions fearing the worst for their captain. After losing three players to Achilles injuries in three years, Walker appeared to be fourth.
Walker actually sustained an Achilles injury that required surgery at the end of September and its apparent long road to recovery started.
In the past, Achilles injuries have ended careers, but as medical technology has advanced, NFL players have seen a faster return to recovery. Recent studies have shown that age, body type and positional play are factors in recovery times. Defensive end Romeo Okwara (6-foot-5, 265 pounds) needed 13 months after his Achilles tendon surgery before he could return to the field, while cornerback Jeff Okudah (6-foot-1, 205) after just eight months with the Training started after his surgery.
Despite the varied recovery times and expectations, Walker (6-foot-0, 206) remained positive throughout the process. By early December, just over two months after surgery, Walker had already removed his hiking boot and shared positive news about his rehabilitation.
“I just want to let all my people know it’s on. I told you all the shakeback is real.” Walker said in the Instagram role. “Do you see that? Ain’t a boot anymore, man. I told y’all I got it right. did you hear me The setback is real. Regard.”
Now a month later, Walker took to social media again to provide an update for fans, with the message: “Feels good to be running again…”:
Walker still has a lot of rehabilitation ahead of him, but to be able to achieve some level of running motion at this stage is very encouraging. Walker has four months before Lions veterans take the field again in organized team activities, he previously told the media was his intended return date.
Returning to the field after an Achilles injury in eight months is optimistic, but having seen Okudah return in a similar period, it’s possible we could see Walker back on the field sooner than expected.