Social media makes it easy to only document good things and progress, and leave out the struggles. But all offseason, Lions safety Tracy Walker posted videos showing the great progress he was making in his recovery from the torn Achilles he suffered early last season. He also delivered on his immediate goal to be ready for OTAs, even in a limited fashion, with an eye on being able to practice with little or no restriction when training camp started.
"I'm a man of my word. And, I still I stood on what I said. I said I was gonna come back, and I was gonna be able to participate in OTAs, which I'm doing," Walker said. "If it was up to me, I'll be running around around right now. But, it's not up to me."- Tracy Walker, via SI.com, May 28, 2023
When head coach Dan Campbell offered some injury updates to start training camp on Sunday morning, there was no notable news on Walker. That could have been taken as a positive or a negative. But if the Lions' leading tackler in 2021 was going to go on the PUP list, Day 1 of training camp would be the time to make it official--no sense waiting.
Tracy Walker makes good on his promise to be practicing fully when training camp started
Indeed, Walker was on the field for practice on Day 1 of training camp Sunday, without apparent limitation and working with the first-team defense. Via Ben Raven of MLive, he talked about how it felt to be out there.
"It feels great,” Walker said. “It’s a blessing to be out here with my teammates and to be able to participate fully now. I said I was a man of my word and I’m going to stand on what I stand on, so yeah, it just feels great to be back."
Walker is undeniably one of the most vocal leaders on the Lions' team, and he told Raven he has fully embraced a mentorship role with Kerby Joseph as a pay it forward from the mentors he had early in his career (Quandre Diggs, Darius Slay, Glover Quin).
Not quite 10 months removed from his Achilles' tear, defying the general recovery timeline for the injury, Walker was back on the practice field in full capacity for Day 1 of training camp. Just like he said he would be.