When second-year San Diego Chargers rush linebacker Melvin Ingram tore his ACL in May, it was widely assumed his 2013 season was a write-off. After all, Adrian Peterson's remarkable 2012 season began 10 months after he tore his ACL -- a time-frame that set a new standard in speedy recoveries.
Incredibly, some members of the Chargers organization believe there's a chance Ingram could play football this season, Kevin Acee of U-T San Diego reports.
"The six-month mark is where we've been really pushing to get to," the L.A. Dodgers' team doctor (who didn't perform Ingram's procedure, but did fix Tom Brady's ACL in 2008) told Acee when asked about advancements in ACL recovery times. "You’re going to be seeing more and more guys coming back sooner to their peak performance ability."
"You're starting to see more consistently people at the sixth-month mark return to sport-specific activity," he added.
But there are no guarantees: "Whether they're back to competition or not, that's a little bit more of a variable."
If Ingram truly does return to the field in late November or December, in many ways it will be a feat far more impressive than Peterson's. It may be far more foolish, too. Unless the Chargers are in the thick of a tight playoff race, it makes little sense for the franchise to risk the long-term health of its 2012 first-round selection.