RENTON, Washington — Getting back to normal has been a long and arduous process for Anthony McCoy.
The Seattle Seahawks tight end has missed each of the last two seasons after suffering torn Achilles tendons during offseason workouts. McCoy tore his right Achilles during organized team activities in May 2013 then tore his left Achilles early in training camp last August.
So after two years of constant rehabilitation, normal is a pretty incredible thing.
"Honestly, (I feel) normal," McCoy said. "And dammit it feels (good to be) normal. God it feels so good to be out here right now."
Both tears were non-contact injuries that ended his seasons before they could get started.
"This is one of those things you can't see coming," McCoy said. "If it's going to happen, it's going to happen."
McCoy was cleared to return to football activities in July. Now he's just working on getting back into game shape and rediscovering his rapport with Russell Wilson.
"I'm almost there. I'm working through the kinks and the cracks and stuff, just getting back into it," McCoy said. "When you're off the field for two years you're probably going to be a little rusty in some areas, as I am. But I'm doing well. I'm back to 100 percent. Well, no one is really 100 percent, I'm back in the 90s right now."
McCoy became a trusted contributor in Seattle's offense during the 2012 season. He posted career highs with 18 catches for 291 yards and three touchdowns while starting five games for the Seahawks. He also posted the first 100-yard game of his career with three catches for 105 yards in Seattle's 58-0 rout of the Arizona Cardinals.
McCoy is battling with Cooper Helfet for a chance to make Seattle's roster as a third tight end. Helfet caught 12 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns in 10 games last season in place of McCoy.
"He's getting there," offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said. "Early in camp I don't think he quite had his legs under him but as you're able to work through more and get more of a workload ... it's hard to simulate exactly what he's going to get out there with bodies leaning on him, guys pushing on him. As he's worked through camp here he's done a nice job of getting his wind, getting his legs, that kind of thing."
Despite the injuries, McCoy stayed with the team throughout each of the last two seasons. He did his rehab work with the team's doctors and training staff instead of going to recuperate on his own.
"Coming in as a rookie, he was a guy I kind of looked up to," backup tight end Luke Willson said. "Obviously the Achilles is the last thing you want injured and not to do one of those, let alone two, and to see him out here and moving around is pretty cool, man. He's got a great attitude. He's a great player. So I'm looking forward to spending a year on the field with him this year."
Seattle's preseason opener against the Denver Broncos on Friday will be the first football game McCoy has appeared in since January 2013.