SHREVEPORT, La. - Running back Jared Tew, strong safety Brian Lindsay and wide receiver Kevin Fogler all gave themselves clean bills of health after Air Force’s light practice on Wednesday evening.
But a more brutal, test awaits the players Thursday as the Falcons begin hitting each other in earnest.
Coach Troy Calhoun was pleased by what he saw from the injured trio, but he remains cautious. He does not want his players to risk more serious injury in Monday’s Independence Bowl battle against Georgia Tech.
“We’re going to go at it,” Calhoun said. “…We’re going to see it at a different tone.”
Calhoun talked following Air Force's workout at Messmer Stadium, a high school field a few hundred yards from the banks of the Red River.
Tew suffered a broken right leg against San Diego State, and it looked as if his Air Force career was over.
But on Wednesday, he moved rapidly and comfortably on his injured leg.
“I didn’t really notice it,” Tew said of his injured leg. “I went full speed, and I felt really conditioned today, too. I didn’t feel tired. I felt really good today.”
Running backs coach Jamel Singleton was impressed by Tew’s effort, but warned the senior’s return against Georgia Tech is not a sure thing.
“He’s got to show he’s 100 percent,” Singleton said. “If he’s 95 percent or 80 percent, I don’t think it cuts it. He’s got to be full speed, ready to go.”
Fogler has not played a full game since September after suffering two injuries to his right knee, but on Wednesday he ran without limping.
“I felt really good today,” Fogler said. “I wasn’t thinking about it or favoring it. I felt really natural out there today. … I just went out there and played.”
When Lindsay suffered a broken collarbone in October, it seemed his season was over. The Falcons missed his physical presence, especially in defending against the running game.
Calhoun has wondered if Lindsay is ready for full contact. Lindsay doesn’t share his coach’s concerns.
“The shoulder is not an issue any more,” he said. “I’m 100 percent right now. I just need to show Calhoun I can do everything.”