Defensive tackle Dontari Poe’s recovery from offseason back surgery seems to be going well, according to Chiefs coach Andy Reid.
“He’s doing great,” Reid said Monday. “He’s really made big strides. I’d just tell you he’s at least on schedule, if not a little bit ahead.”
So what’s the schedule?
“I don’t know that,” Reid said. “He says he’s going to play in the first game. So I go ‘OK, all right, we’ll see.’ The doctors have to evaluate it. That’s really the thing, the time and how it’s healing. That’s up to the docs.”
Poe underwent surgery in July for a herniated disk that started to bother him during organized team activities. Poe has not participated since the start of training camp, but Reid said in late July that Poe has a reasonable chance of returning in the early part of the season.
Reid, however, could not be more specific than that on Monday.
“We’ll see how he does in this phase with the exercise part of it,” he said. “So far it’s gone well. But let’s see how that goes. That’s kind of where the docs are at. And then he hasn’t run. So we’ll see, in that next phase, how that goes. He’s moving around, he hasn’t had any setbacks. So that’s the positive.”
Former NFL team physician David J. Chao and Neel Anand, orthopedic surgeon and director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles, both said three months is a pretty standard estimate when it comes to recovery time for this injury, which would put Poe back on the field sometime in October.