Air Force senior Z-receiver Ty Paffett is recovering from surgery for a herniated disc, and he hopes to be ready for the start of preseason practice on July 31.
Paffett, a Lewis-Palmer grad, said last Thursday’s surgery “went well.” It entailed shaving off some cartilage that had been hitting a nerve and sending a shooting pain down his leg. Paffett said the surgery eliminated that pain, that he plans to begin doing “some light rehab stuff” on Friday and that he should begin jogging a week after that.
“It’s kind of early to say, but talking with the doctor, he’s pretty optimistic that I’ll be able to get out there,” for the start of preseason practice, Paffett said. “I’m not sure how much hitting I’ll be able to do right off the bat, but I should be out there doing something. … I’m going to work my butt off to get ready for day one of practice.”
Paffett finished spring practices listed as the Falcons’ starter at Z-receiver – the hybrid running back/receiver position Chad Hall played in 2007 when he earned Mountain West Conference Offensive Player of the Year honors. Paffett played Z last season when Hall was on the sideline or lined up at tailback – which Hall did often later in the season. Paffett played a key role as a blocker in those situations but also showed glimpses of potential as a ball carrier. In the regular season finale against San Diego State he ran for three touchdowns, one of which covered 73 yards.
If Paffett is limited early, the Falcons likely would turn to sophomore Kyle Halderman, who finished spring listed as the backup at Z. Air Force coach Troy Calhoun also hopes to use sophomore cornerback Reggie Rembert some at Z.
Paffett will need to be able to practice consistently if he expects to play in games, Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said last Wednesday.
“If he can’t practice every day, he’s not going to play very well,” Calhoun said. “I know guys sometimes think they can muster it up, and they’ll be gamers on game day, but you don’t perform at an optimal level.”