Dennis Kelly Still Has A Ways To Go Before Return

The last time we spoke with Dennis Kelly, he said that he hoped to be back on the practice field around the start of the regular season and was “very confident” that he would avoid being placed on injured reserve.

On Tuesday he said he was “pretty confident” that the IR is not in his future. And it looks like his return date is still a ways off.

Kelly, who had back surgery to repair an L2 disc earlier this month, said he will be re-checked by doctors on September 16. He could be cleared to return to football-related activities then.

Currently the 6-8, 321-pound tackle is able to do some cardio and a little bit of agility work. The big thing will be regaining strength and getting back into football shape. Even if there are no setbacks, that could take some time.

Chip Kelly was asked about the injury factor when it comes to piecing the 53-man roster together.

“Big,” he said. “When can they come back?  There will be a consultation with our doctors.  When can we expect them?  Is it back Week Three, is it back Week Eight?  All of that has to go into the final decisions of who is playing 53.”

Beyond Kelly, the backup tackles currently vying for roster spots include Allen Barbre, rookie Michael Bamiro, Matt Kopa and Matt Tobin. Certainly they wouldn’t mind having Kelly in the mix. It’s just a matter of when they think he can get back and contribute in a meaningful way.

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