Dallas ClarK on Wrist Brace: “It looks stupid, but it gives me a little more protection. I’ll probably wear it all year.”
I’ll admit it: as a rabid fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers, I’m no fan of Dallas Clark, the versatile tight end for the Indianapolis Colts that missed most of the 2010 season with a serious wrist injury. Conversely, I’ll also admit that Clark can flat out play. That’s usually where my ‘hate’ of pro athletes stems from — if they’re good — real good — and also stand in the way of my favorite team’s success, I might just spend a few minutes sharing my unsolicited feelings about them.
Anyway, after happily not having to worry about Clark’s effect on the Indianapolis Colts offense in 2010 after the All-Pro was lost for the year last last October with a wrist injury. Clark is back and itching to get back on the field with his teammates after a long rehabilitation and waiting period. He’s been advised to wear a brace by team doctors all season for precautionary reasons, but according to Clark, he’s begrudgingly coming around to the idea after discovering early on in training camp that the brace isn’t having adverse affects on his ability to comfortably catch, run block or pass protect. Bad news for myself and anyone else in Steeler Nation who’s apprehensively eying the Pittsburgh-Indianapolis matchup at Lucas Oil Stadium on Sunday Night Football in Week 3.
Clark joined 1070 The Fan in Indianapolis to talk about how his wrist is feeling, how he’ll probably have to wear a brace all season long, why he’s not as concerned about that as he was initially because of how little it has bothered him thus far in camp, how excited he is to return to action this weekend after such a long layoff even if it is just a preseason game, the enjoyment he gets from watching unheralded rookies make a name for themselves and earn a roster spot by playing well during the preseason, and how hard it was for him to sit out all of last season while the Colts resiliently fought their way to yet another playoff berth.
How is the wrist feeling as the Colts get set to start their preseason schedule”
“It feels great. How long have we been here? I don’t even know, but I have not felt it. I’m trying not to jinx myself or think about it too much, but I’m seriously trying to just take it day by day, and cross whatever bridge that comes — however it feels, or whatever attention it needs, more therapy, more post-workout treatments and things like that. But it feels great so I’m really excited.”
Have the team doctors given any indication of how long they’d like him to wear the brace this season:
“Yeah he wants me to wear it all year, which at first I was pretty not excited about. But I’ve gone out to practice here and been able to catch, block, pass-pro and do everything that I need to do. The ball I dropped, I just took my eye off it; it wasn’t the brace or anything like that. So it’s exciting. It’s not inhibiting me from doing what I need to do. It looks stupid, but other than that it does it’s job, it gives me just a little more protection; I’ll probably wear it all year. So we’ll see what happens and take it week by week.”
If he’s feeling 100 percent or close to it:
“Yeah they say it’s a year recovery, and it’s in October so we’ve got a few months before that. But they’re probably just kind of taking it day by day, and going on how I feel if we need to rest it or anything like that. But I seriously have not felt it, or it hasn’t given me any reason to idle back on practice. It’s just been great. It’s exciting, and they’re kind of excited as well. It’s kind of one of those things that you don’t really talk about unless I come to them and say ‘hey I did something and it just doesn’t feel right.’ But we haven’t had that case yet, so, so far so good.”
How excited will he be to take the field in the Colts’ first preseason game this weekend considering he’s been out for nearly a year:
“Oh gosh, yeah! I mean, I don’t know, I might actually even be nervous it’s been so long, it feels like anyway. So I’ll be excited to be out there. I know it’s only preseason so you’ve got to keep the excitement at a minimum because it’s hard to get excited for a couple series. But I’ll enjoy the heck out of those.”
If he enjoys watching a no-name, unheralded rookie make a name for himself and earn a helmet by playing well in the preseason:
“Yeah every year there’s always one, two…obviously it all depends but every year there’s always at least one where you just feel a little extra special, a little more happy for those guys that no one here or none of their friends or family probably thought ‘aww, no well they’ll ever make it.’ Just to see them fight that hard to get rewarded like that, it’s great to see. Because it’s not easy to make a team. There’s so many great athletes out there these days, and it gets tougher and tougher, so it means a lot when you get to make an NFL team.”
How hard was it for him to sit out and have to watch most all of the Colts season in 2010:
“Miserable, absolutely. I can’t even explain it. It’s the toughest part of the sport I feel — dealing with injuries, dealing with you’re out there giving everything you got to help your team, and one play you’re done for the year. So it’s tough, but it happens, it’s part of the game, it’s not a shocker or anything like that. But it doesn’t make it easier. It’s something you go through and you either get better from it or you let it eat you and just kind of break you down mentally. But it’s tough. But it’s great to see the team go out there and play well and make the playoffs and make a great run with all the injuries they had. I was just really proud of how everything turned out.”