Healthy Tebow can carry full load
Posted: Tuesday, August 25, 2009 4:30 pm
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Tim Tebow’s back is just fine. So is his shoulder — finally.
Tebow returned to practice Monday, getting back to “head-butting people,” after missing some repetitions last week because of a sore lower back.
How did Tebow injure himself?
“Probably overworking, like I do everything,” Tebow explained.
He added that he plans to slow down some as the defending national champion and top-ranked Florida prepares for its Sept. 5 season opener against Charleston Southern.
The game should be an easy workout for the top-ranked Gators again the perfect time for Tebow to test his previously-injured back.
“It’s about that time when you just need to ease it up, get ready for the season and stop training so hard,” Tebow said. “Tone it back a little bit.”
Tebow also revealed that he played most of last year with a bum shoulder.
Tebow said he injured his non-throwing shoulder in the season opener against Hawaii and needed painkilling injections before each game the rest of the way.
He had surgery in January to remove a bone spur and reduce chronic inflammation around the area.
But it was never clear when the former Heisman Trophy winner Tebow hurt his shoulder.
“That’s just stuff you have to deal with,” Tebow said. “That’s football. … I will never pull myself out of the game. I just love playing too much. Some people say it’s probably being hardheaded out there, too.”
Tebow initially hurt his shoulder against Kentucky in 2007 and received painkilling injections before the final six games of that season, which means he’s gotten a shot before 19 of Florida’s last 20 games.
Now, though, he says his shoulder feels as good as it has in three years.
“It’s more comfortable than it was last year or the year before,” Tebow said. “It’s just so much easier now. I can take hits and smile, not grunt now. That will be nice.”
Tebow has thrown for 6,390 yards and 67 touchdowns in three seasons at Florida.
He also has 2,037 yards rushing and 43 scores during his tenure in Gainsville.
He returned for his senior season in hopes of leading the Gators to a third national title in four years.
He hasn’t missed a single game, but he’s had plenty of nicks and dings along the way during his college football career.
He broke his non-throwing hand against Florida State in Nov. 2007 and played the Capital One Bowl against Michigan with a protective sleeve to mask the injury.
He also played three games last year with a hyper-extended knee, in addition to the shoulder problem.
“I don’t ask him anymore (about his health),” Florida head coach Urban Meyer said. “I don’t ask him anymore because he’s not going to tell me. … Don’t ask me because I don’t know.”
Tebow said his back felt fine Monday.
How did he test it?
In a manner expected of the hard-hitting quarterback.
“Ran around head-butting people, so good to go,” he said.