Offseason medical news doesn’t always have to be a downer.
After missing the offseason to recover from surgeries on each hip, Denver Broncos center Matt Paradis has been medically cleared and is expected to participate in most on-field activity when training camp commences later this month.
Did Paradis ever wonder about how double-hip surgery would affect his career?
“I never was that worried,’’ Paradis said in a phone interview Wednesday with 9News. “I might have been worried about quality. And that’s something we’re still going to have to work out. But man, they’re feeling great. I guess I never realized how much pain I was in previously and now it’s like, “You mean I’m not supposed to be in pain all day, every day?’’
A Pro Bowl alternate last season, Paradis was the no-brainer Broncos’ selection for the Ed Block Courage Award after he was able to start and deliver every offensive snap, despite not practicing in the final 10 weeks of the year because of his hip pain.
He didn’t practice again this offseason as he rehabilitated from surgery first on his right hip and then on his left. It’s to the point now where Paradis may be the only Broncos’ veteran player who is actually looking forward to practicing again.
“Oh, yeah, absolutely,’’ he said. “It changes a lot. I think it hurts the other guys, too, because I’m not practicing with them and then it’s a different guy on game day.’’
Paradis credited Dr. Marc Philippon, the Vail-based surgeon, for repairing his hips; the Broncos’ training staff led by Steve “Greek” Antonopulos and Vince Garcia; and Luke Richesson’s strength and conditioning staff for rehabbing his hips back into playing shape. Paradis was cleared last Friday.
That doesn’t mean Paradis will fully participate in the Broncos’ first training camp practice on July 27. He may not even play in the first preseason game or two, as the Broncos’ medical team always proceeds cautiously with players coming off significant injuries.
But Paradis should be ready to continue his streak of not missing a snap – currently at 35 games, counting the 2015 postseason – when the Broncos open the regular season Sept. 11 with a home Monday night game against the Los Angeles Chargers.
This season, Paradis will anchor a reconstructed offensive line. Newly signed Ronald Leary will line up at right guard. Menelik Watson, another free-agent newcomer, will start at right tackle. And first-round rookie Garett Bolles is competing with Ty Sambrailo at left tackle.
“We’ve got some new guys and they’re all hard workers and grinders,’’ Paradis said. “We’re going to have a good group. It’s going to be fun.’’