Donnie Avery. He doesn't get a whole lot of respect around these parts. And after an awfully brief spurt of positive plays from AJ Jenkins, many fans were ready to cut Avery and go all-in on Jenkins.
But according to David Culley, Donnie may have been playing with a nagging injury for much of the year:
"The big thing about Donnie is he played three-fourths of the year last year with one shoulder," said assistant head coach David Culley, who oversees wide receivers. "Now, he’s completely healthy. This off-season, he’s been a different guy from the standpoint of extra speed, staying healthy, and if he can maintain his healthy, you’ll see a different Donnie, a more productive Donnie."
Now, Culley's math is probably a bit off here. That shoulder injury occurred in the 5th game against the Titans, so if he was still bothered by it for the rest of the regular season, that works out to about two-thirds of the year, not three-fourths but, if true, just imagine how much more productive their offense might have been had Avery been at 100%. Of course, expecting Avery to remain 100% healthy this year could be a tall order. In today's NFL he looks a bit frail to me, but Reid has talked highly of his strength conditioning guy Barry Rubin, so hopefully Avery has been taking advantage of that program.
By the way, in today's OTA, Avery reportedly reeled in a 50-yard pass from Alex Smith.