To borrow wide receiver Anthony Gonzalez's phrase, he is "taking the next step." There's just no telling whether it will put him on a path leading to FedEx Field on Sunday night, when the Indianapolis Colts meet the Washington Redskins.
"Honestly, it's really up in the air," Gonzalez said of his playing prospects Wednesday, when he participated in some but not all drills during his first full on-field workout since suffering a high ankle sprain in the Colts' season opener Sept. 12.
High ankle sprains typically require four to six weeks to recover. Gonzalez is at the short end of that spectrum. He has progressed from the training room to the weight room to straight-ahead running, and now to the practice field. Through it all, he has participated in meetings and off-field work and spent much of his time away from practice studying film of the NFL's best receivers. So whenever he is cleared, he will be ready to go.
It's just hard to say when that might be. How his ankle feels depends on when you ask. This week will be a day-to-day, even a drill-to-drill, test.