Jacksonville Jaguars' Rashean Mathis cleared to play after ACL injury

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Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis was cleared to return to practice from an ACL injury. (Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

Rashean Mathis, Jacksonville Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive back Rashean Mathis, who tore his ACL last November, has been cleared to return to the practice field, he told the Daytona Beach News-Journal's Brent Woronoff.

On Monday, Mathis met with orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews and, after some tests on his knee, was given permission to start practicing again.

"I did some jumps and stuff at the Andrews Institute (in Gulf Breeze)," Mathis said. "He yanked and pulled on my knee and said everything is looking great, just keep strengthening the knee.

"I'm sure we're going to take things slow, because we still have a few months before the actual season starts, but he has cleared me to participate with the team."

"I've been doing everything -- running, jumping, cutting," he continued. "Everything you do on the football field I've been doing. But it's a different speed once you go against another competitor, and all of the things I've been doing on my own, not one-one with a receiver. That's a big difference, and I understand that."

Mathis was a Pro Bowler in 2006 and has 30 interceptions in his 10 years with Jacksonville. He is expected to compete with Aaron Ross for a starting cornerback position and is not worried that concerns over his knee will slow him down.

"I'm definitely not going to be fearful of it," he said. "If you play cautious you're going to get hurt. So now it's just about me strengthening my knee and trusting it. I trust the work that I've put in. So when I get on the field I will trust that."