The first day of organized team activities (OTAs), all San Diego Chargers first-round draft selection Jason Verrett could do was watch.
He stood on the sidelines holding his helmet as the coaching staff put the rest of his teammates through individual and team drills out on the field.
Verrett had shoulder surgery to repair a torn labrum in March, and worked through a rehabilitation program with the team's training staff this offseason. But by the end of San Diego's offseason workout program, Verrett's injury had progressed to the point that he could take part in his position group's individual drills, including catching the ball with his injured shoulder.
Verrett has yet to be cleared for full contact.
"I'm feeling good," Verrett said, when talking with reporters on the final day of minicamp. "I've been running around lately these last few days, and I've been able to do individual drills. And I'm going to be ready when camp gets back."
Verrett indicated his range of motion is improving and the shoulder is feeling stronger. He even threw out the first pitch at a recent San Diego Padres game using the injured shoulder, although he dribbled the throw to the plate.
Verret plans to stay in town and train with teammate and mentor Eric Weddle, which should help him mentally get ready for the start of training camp. Players report to Chargers Park on July 23. The first practice of training camp is July 24.
"These next five weeks are going to be very important," Verrett said. "So I just want to take advantage of it and get ready for camp."
Because of the injury, Verrett has not participated in team drills during practice. So while he has taken mental reps from the sideline, there's still a steep learning curve Verrett will have to overcome when training camp begins.
However, Weddle knows John Pagano's defensive system intimately, and should speed up that process for Verrett.
"It will be good for him to work with me and get him up to speed as much as possible so he can come out and try and make an impact for us," Weddle said. "He's a talented kid. He has a great mindset, and is mentally ready for this moment, and what the NFL brings mentally. So that's exciting for an older guy, knowing that his head is in the right place."
Verrett said he's looking forward to training camp, now that he's closer to being fully healthy.
"It's slowly coming," Verrett said. "My first day when I was doing individual drills it was kind of like, ‘Wow, I'm out here.' And now the fact that I'm five weeks away from being able to get in and get those reps, it's exciting.
"It's not too much pressure, I'm just excited to be out there. I'm a competitor. So I'm ready."