Still sidelined by a foot injury suffered in the spring, Jon Beason is inching towards the field. And he thinks he has the proper footwear for when he gets there.
The projected middle linebacker said on Monday that he is finally close to settling on the right cleats and orthotics that will allow him to play. It turned out to be an exhaustive process. Like his own version of "Say Yes to the Dress" or a "Sex and the City" shopping spree at Manolo Blahnik.
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"(We're) going through the process of getting the orthotics, making the adjustments," Beason said. " 'Oh, that doesn't feel too good, that feels too soft, that's too rigid, how's the tape job? We're going to tape it this way, are we going to go to a bigger cleat, a smaller cleat, is the toe box too wide, is it too narrow?' We've been playing with it and trying to come up with the perfect equation of what's going to help me play on the field and we're getting really close."
Beason is still on PUP and unable to practice with the team, but on Monday he said he would begin more intense reaction drills. In other words, cutting without knowing it. That will recreate situations on the field in which he changes direction like play-actions and pass coverages.
As for the coming weeks, Beason said he still feels like he is on track for the Sept. 8 opener against the Lions. And while he said his goal is to be ready to play in a preseason game, actually playing in one is not as important.
"It's good to kind of spin the wheels a little bit, get out there and oiled up," he said. "They might say, hey, it's not worth risking it to go out and play vs. the Jets or go out and play vs. the Patriots. But you've had the opportunity, that's great. Or to be working back in practice, that's really good, really promising for the opener against the Lions."
If Beason is in uniform for that game, at least he knows his shoes will match.
"You don't realize how important your feet are," he said. "But it's really everything, right?"
Carrie Bradshaw couldn't agree more.