Colts' Braden Smith Progressing Well After Knee Surgery, Eyes 100% Return for 2024

Indianapolis Colts right tackle Braden Smith is making significant progress in his recovery from knee surgery, aiming to be fully healthy for the start of the 2024 NFL season, after missing seven games last season due to the injury. The 28-year-old veteran's return to full health would be a crucial boost to the Colts' offensive line, which struggled in his absence. This description focuses on the primary topic (Braden Smith's recovery), main entity (Braden Smith and the Indianapolis Colts), context (2024 NFL season), significant actions (recovery from knee surgery), and objective details (missing seven games last season) that will guide the AI in creating an accurate visual representation of the article's content.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Colts' Braden Smith Progressing Well After Knee Surgery, Eyes 100% Return for 2024

Colts' Braden Smith Progressing Well After Knee Surgery, Eyes 100% Return for 2024

Indianapolis Colts right tackle Braden Smith, who missed seven games in the 2023 season due to a knee injury, is making significant strides in his recovery after undergoing surgery in January. The 28-year-old veteran is optimistic about being fully healthy for the start of the 2024 season.

Smith battled through pain to start 10 games last season, knowing his knee would not be 100%. He initially suffered a hip injury, but his left knee was the primary issue that lingered throughout the season, progressively worsening until surgery was required. Now in the rehabilitation phase, Smith is seeing positive progress. "I feel like I'm in a pretty good spot. The strength's coming back," he stated.

Reflecting on playing through the injury, Smith acknowledged the importance of mental fortitude. "You need to get something so you go out there and do what you can for your team. You just build that mental fortitude over time." He admitted trying to return too quickly and not taking proper care of himself, but feels he is now in a better position compared to last year.

Smith's return to full health would be a significant boost for the Colts' offensive line. Even while injured, his presence made a noticeable impact last season, with the team allowing fewer sacks and averaging more rushing yards per game when he played. Colts general manager Chris Ballard emphasized Smith's importance, saying, "Braden is important to our football team, and when he doesn't play, it hurts us."

As Smith enters his eighth year in the NFL, he expressed gratitude for the opportunity to play right tackle and the support he has received from coaches, teammates, and staff. "It's crazy how fast it's really gone," he reflected. The Colts will be returning all five starting offensive linemen from the 2023 season, and Smith highlighted the significance of continuity for the unit's success.

While Smith is taking his recovery week-by-week and has not committed to a specific return date to the practice field, his primary focus remains on being fully healthy for the start of the 2024 season. "I feel like I'm making leaps every week," he said, underscoring his dedication to the rehabilitation process and his eagerness to contribute to the Colts' success in the upcoming season.

Key Takeaways

  • Colts RT Braden Smith is recovering well from knee surgery in January.
  • Smith played through pain in 2023, but is now focused on full recovery.
  • His return to health would boost the Colts' offensive line.
  • Smith emphasizes mental fortitude and is grateful for team support.
  • He aims to be fully healthy for the start of the 2024 season.