Desmond Bishop does his best not think about it.
A positive guy by nature, the Green Bay Packers inside linebacker knows nothing good can come harping on the torn hamstring that ended his season three months ago.
Instead, the 6-foot-2, 238-pound linebacker focuses on what’s in front of him. Rehabbing a few hours each day, Bishop plans to be back to 100 percent sometime in February, currently placing him at the midway point of his rehabilitation.
After seeing his sixth NFL season end in the Packers’ preseason opener against San Diego on Aug. 9, Bishop thought at first he might be able to return under the NFL’s new injured reserve prevision that allows each team to designate one player to return.
Three months after the injury, however, Bishop realizes going on season-ending injured reserve was probably the right call.
“I was hoping, but looking back on it I think it was a good decision to keep me out,” said Bishop on Monday. “I think possibly, I could’ve made it back, but I wouldn’t have been as explosive, so it probably would’ve been detrimental.”
The 28-year-old Bishop, who was the first of seven Packers’ players to be placed on injured reserve this season, is back in town this week to meet with team doctors and coaches after rehabbing the past few weeks in San Diego.
As the weeks have passed, the hamstring has gotten stronger. Bishop’s still looking to add more structure to his recovery, but he’s still in the process of regaining flexibility in the hamstring.
In the meantime, he’s following the Packers. Bishop attended his last game in-person against Houston last month, but has been watching from afar and praises the performance of fourth-year linebacker Brad Jones, who has been playing in Bishop’s spot on defense since D.J. Smith went down with a season-ending knee injury against the Texans.
Bishop also isn’t afraid to go back and watch the play he suffered his season-ending tear on. It only serves to further his motivation.
When he’s ready to return, Bishop believes he’ll still be capable of playing at the level the team had grown accustom to over the past few years, including last season when he paced the team with 142 tackles and five sacks.
“I think just overall having get time to heal and rest,” Bishop said. “I have a longer offseason to get physically and mentally in better shape, so hopefully that transfers over the field next year.”
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