Bucs WR Arrelious Benn is progressing from a late season knee injury. Benn said his rehab is going well and he envisions being ready for training camp.
While many teammates have been getting away from football and the team facility, Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Arrelious Benn has been working hard at One Buc Place since the end of the 2010 season. Benn suffered a torn knee ligament after taking a helmet to his left knee from Seahawks cornerback Marcus Trufant in the Bucs Week 16 win over the Seattle Seahawks. Benn, one of the team’s starting receivers, had caught a 16-yard pass from quarterback Josh Freeman at the 14:27 mark in the second half when he sustained the injury.
Benn was moving well without a limp or brace on his knee on Wednesday at the Buccaneers Play 60 Challenge.
“Rehab is coming along great. I’m doing all the things I need to do. I’m just looking ahead to the season coming up,” said Benn. “Right now I’m not looking at a timetable. I’m taking it one day at a time getting better. I’ll be right and ready to go when it is time to go (training camp).”
The Buccaneers traded up in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft to select Benn. He entered the draft after his junior season in Illinois. The Washington D.C. product Benn started out the season as a backup before taking over the starting Z (flanker) receiver position. Benn talked about how the injury has impacted his offseason thus far.
“It doesn’t change anything. I’m doing all the things I would do if I didn’t have this injury,” said Benn. “I’m just getting right and getting cardio going. I’m also resting my body because this is the first break I’ve had in a while coming from college to the draft and all that. Everything is the same. The timetable is one day at a time and get better each day and be ready.”
Benn became the fourth member of the team's 2010 draft class to end the season on injured reserve, joining defensive tackles Brian Price and Gerald McCoy and safety Cody Grimm. Benn also was the eighth Tampa Bay starter to wind up on injured reserve last season. So far this offseason Benn said that injured running back Kareem Huggins and Grimm have also been rehabbing their injuries at One Bucs Place.
Benn recorded 25 receptions for 395 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie. He averaged 16 yards per catch. Halfway through the season Benn broke out against the Arizona Cardinals with a 53-yard reception to the Arizona one-yard line to set up the game-winning touchdown. He scored for the first time in his professional career a week later at Atlanta. In his homecoming Benn went over 100-yards in a game with a four catch 122-yard game.
“It felt good, I was comfortable. I knew the playbook and I knew what I was doing,” said Benn of his strong finish. “Each week I became a bigger part of the offense. I was coming along great and coaches were gaining trust in me. I was just going out there and having fun.”
Benn’s injury prevented him from playing in the season finale at New Orleans and will most likely deny him from practicing during the spring OTAs (organized team activities) if the team is able to hold them.
“I was disappointed but I got over it because I knew how hard I was going to work to come back next year,” said Benn. “I’m not worried about it. I know my drive.”
The potential lock out by the owners due the expiration of the collective bargaining agreement could force Benn to have to finish his offseason work away from the team facility.
“Oh yeah I have a plan for what I’m going to do in rehab to get better,” said Benn. “I’ll just be ready and go full speed ahead.”
Benn said his teammates are prepared to start doing some private workouts if they are denied the team facility as a result of a work stoppage.
“I’m pretty sure about that,” said Benn. “We are a young team but we have a lot of guys that want to be leaders. I’m pretty sure we will organize something if we have to. For right now we are just going to work out and relax. It is a long time before the season starts. We’ll get in our playbooks, and enjoy the offseason.”
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