Miami Dolphins

Practicing seven months after ACL surgery, Dolphins CB Will Davis ‘feels good’

Cornerback Will Davis looks on during the Miami Dolphins’ OTA practice Monday, June 8, 2015 in Davie.
Cornerback Will Davis looks on during the Miami Dolphins’ OTA practice Monday, June 8, 2015 in Davie. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

Will Davis showed up at practice recently with a bright red streak in his hair.

Green would have been more fitting. His hairdo is the only part of him this spring that screams stop.

Davis, the third-year corner who suffered a torn ACL late in the 2014 season, not only is back practicing less than seven months after reconstructive surgery, he got snaps with the starters Monday.

"I'll tell you what — it feels good to be back," Davis said. "It definitely does. It's been a long time to be back out there with the guys. When you get to make a couple of plays, it's even more exciting."

Davis' recovery from what's usually a nine to 12 month injury has been swift. While admittedly not back to 100 percent, Davis believes he will be for the start of training camp in late July.

He was able to run full-speed in May, and on Monday had few, if any limitations.

"Basically, I guess everybody's different, but I think it goes to your body, how much scar tissue is created after surgery," Davis added. "I don't know if mine was less or not, but I just know that from the start to beginning, I'm here now, so it must be going great."

If Davis does indeed report to camp at full strength with full mobility, it'll be a boon for the Dolphins, who have to pick a starting corner opposite Brent Grimes.

Jamar Taylor, drafted a round ahead of Taylor in 2013, is the early favorite for the job. But Davis, Brice McCain, Zack Bowman and even rookies Bobby McCain and Tony Lippett might be considered.

The way Davis' body has responded to the rehab regimen is impressive.

And yet, the quick return of players like Davis and Louis Delmas, the starting safety who also had late-season knee surgery, raises the adage: Just because you can do something, does that mean you should?

While other teams take a more cautious approach in the spring — the Giants might shut down star receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (hamstring) until training camp, according to published reports — the Dolphins are going full-speed ahead with Davis and, to a lesser extent, Delmas.

Are the Dolphins being a little too aggressive, too fast? Some privately worry they are.

Some important context: These workouts are all voluntary, as Joe Philbin reminds reporters every time a player misses one.

Still, the organization believes there's great value in having all players participate; Philbin made a point to mention the team had perfect attendance on the first day at Organized Team Activities two weeks ago.

"We had everybody on the roster here in the building today," Philbin said on May 26. "It was a great start to the OTA phase of the offseason program."

Philbin also has pledged to closely monitor how Davis and Delmas respond to the work they get this spring, "and make sure there are no setbacks." Neither practiced during the OTA session open to reporters last week, but both returned to the field on Monday.

As for Davis, he's just happy to be back in a helmet and cleats after a painful road back.

"I've been excited by how the process has been going, definitely," Davis said. "To be in this position that I am right now, I'm definitely excited how it went. I'm definitely excited to be back so I can get a little action before training camp, so I'm not going into training camp, getting the kinks out."

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