Colorado star receiver Paul Richardson gave his Twitter followers some good news last week by announcing that after just three months of rehabilitation from ACL surgery, doctors had given him the go-ahead to start running and that he hoped to play in the fall.
"I was cleared by my doctor and trainers to start running today and I'm not even 3 months out of surgery yet #Blessed"
While having Richardson back in the fall would be a much-needed miracle for a team that Phil Steele called the youngest in the country, Colorado trainers didn't want Richardson, who had 39 catches for 555 yards and five touchdown despite missing much of the year with a torn MCL, to get too far ahead of himself.
They also didn't want media outlets reporting Richardson's "miraculous" recovery and released a statement saying Richardson's might have overstated how ready he is for the 2012 season.
(US Presswire)"Paul was cleared for straight-ahead jogging and running. He's not at the point where he can make cuts, run routes, etc," Colorado trainer Miguel Rueda said. "He is progressing nicely and faster than expected, but it's too early to predict what his status is for the upcoming season. We'll monitor his progress, but whether he can play in any or all of the games this fall can't be determined for some time yet."
Honestly, even if Richardson can make an amazing recovery and find his way back to the field in 2012, Colorado would be better served keeping him on the sideline until 2013.
There is little returning experience for the Buffs at wide receiver. Their best prospect, Peyton Williams from Southlake (Texas) Carroll, tore his ACL during the Texas state semifinals and won't play until 2013. Freshmen Gerald Thomas and Jeffrey Thomas could be the team's top receivers. Not to mention Colorado is trying to break in a new quarterback and coach Jon Embree doesn't even know who that is yet.
Texas transfer Connor Wood got the bulk of the first-team snaps in the spring, but looked pretty mediocre as a starter. Nick Hirshman, the only returning quarterback with game experience, injured his foot and missed all of spring ball, and Kansas transfer Jordan Webb needs to learn the playbook.
So why waste Richardson on what appears to be yet another learning year for Colorado? Let all of the freshman — Embree said as many as 20 could have significant playing time — get situated for a year. Let the quarterback get settled. I say, let Colorado start learning how to win and then bring Richardson back as a complement to what's already building. Colorado will be much better in 2013 than it will be in 2012.
As a player and a competitor, Richardson wants to be back on the field as soon as possible and that's admirable. But the best thing for the team is to keep him on the sidelines.