Tight End Daniel Bellinger
Q: What's the biggest challenge going to be for you in order to get back out there and be productive?
A: Just getting back into a rhythm. Getting back into getting speed, and I feel good about it. The biggest step was obviously hitting and hitting hard with my helmet and pads on, and it felt good today.
Q: Was there any psychological part of this to not be afraid of getting hit?
A: Yeah, the thing today was to see how I felt about the eye, and I wasn't apprehensive about it. I felt good going out there, and I felt comfortable hitting, and I didn't feel like I had to slow up or anything like that. I felt comfortable going out there and just playing ball.
Q: I assume you are going to wear a visor?
A: Oh absolutely. That's another thing is just getting used to that visor when I hit, and the sweat comes off it. I never had to wear one like that so just kind of getting used to that as well.
Q: Does it affect your pass-catching abilities, seeing through it?
A: No, just something I still have to get used to with the visor, but it hasn't really affected me at all.
Q: How long did it take from the time you were hurt until you had regular vision?
A: It took a few weeks. Right after the injury I had a few days before surgery for the swelling to go down. So, I'd say about a week until surgery and then post-surgery about a couple of weeks.
Q: It's all cleared up now?
A: Yeah, it's cleared up now.
Q: Was today kind of the final check point there? You've been running and catching but having physical contact?
A: Yeah, the final step is to just see how I feel about it, but it's still going day by day and step by step to see how I feel. It's about obviously the hitting stuff which I feel comfortable with, but it's also seeing the strain that the eye takes because the muscles when they took that blow, just kind of seeing the strain that they take with the physical activity each day.
Q: So, you're still getting vision tests regularly?
A: Yeah, I mean I still do stuff with the (athletic) trainers just to make sure the eyes ok but I've had no setbacks, which is good.
Q: What do they do? Do they shine a light in your eye?
A: It's kind of like concussion tests protocol stuff, like convergence and just seeing if the eye is the same as this eye, and it's all been good.
Q: Is the double vision gone?
Q: Good for you.
A: Yeah, thank you.
Q: How long has the double vision been gone?
A: It's been gone probably a few days. It's slowly getting back to where it was, and I was doing some convergence today, and it's a lot better than what it was.
Q: Is it almost one of those things whereas you're progressing by weeks you think it's getting better and then if you compare it to what it is the following week it's so much better than what you thought?
A: Yeah, the doctor when I talked to him at my last appointment, he was saying at first, it's going to be really big jumps. At first, it's going to be like, oh you can't see anything and then after a while you'll see something. But then he said as it progresses it will get smaller and smaller. I'll notice small differences, but then there won't be big leaps like there was.
Q: Are you confident right now? Do you feel 100% confident in your eye to play, if you play Sunday?
A: I'm still taking it day by day just seeing how it feels, but today it felt good, and I felt comfortable.
Q: Is the double vision gone?
Q: How about playing in December football? These are meaningful games, first year in the NFL. How does that feel?
A: It feels really good. It feels good to be a part of this team and to have the opportunity. (Head) Coach (Brian) Dabs (Daboll) talks about like a lot of teams don't have the opportunity, so it feels good to have the opportunity. Of course, we've got to capitalize on it.