Travis Fredrick has, by all accounts, made great strides in his recovery from Guillain-Barre Syndrome. The disease robbed the All-Pro center of his 2018 season, and threatened to do more than that but it was caught early giving Fredrick a much better chance at a full recovery. Next week, he’ll get what is described as a final check-in to determine if everything is good to go.
He has an appointment next week for a “sort of final check-in to make sure there’s no permanent damage there.” Doctors will put Frederick through a battery of tests to confirm he is good to go.
While he will have to wait until then to be sure, Frederick thinks he’s well on his way to recovery and will be ready for 2019.
“I’m just glad to be back and be able to write the next chapter in this story,” Frederick said Wednesday.
GBS is not the only thing holding him back; part of the reason he is limited in the OTAs are two surgeries he’s had this offseason.
“I feel good where I am in the weight room. I’ve come a really long way,” Frederick said. “It’s interesting because there’s three things holding me back now. There’s the return from Guillain-Barré. I had a umbilical hernia repair, so that kind of knocked out my lowers for a while, and I had the shoulder repair, so it knocked out my uppers for a while. So I’m still coming back. I’m a little bit behind in the offseason lifting program compared to everybody else because they started a few weeks before I did, but I do feel really good in both areas of where I am at this point.”
While disappointed in missing the 2018 season, Frederick was able to find a silver lining in that GBS cloud. He thinks he could be an even better player coming back after being able to watch the game for a year.
“I see the game a little bit differently than I did before,” he said. “A lot of times during the season you are so focused on your technique and focused on what it takes physically to get your job done, you don’t get a great chance to advance mentally. And a lot of times you do that during the offseason, you do your best to do that.
“But to get to see real live looks all the time and see the way defenses are disguising things and what kind of coverages they’re moving to using more normally, I think was really beneficial to me. And I’ve seen the benefits of that already in OTAs.”
There are a lot of changes/new additions the Cowboys have made this offseason. Kellen Moore becoming offensive coordinator, re-signing DeMarcus Lawrence, adding key veterans like Robert Quinn and Randall Cobb, the un-retirement of Jason Witten - all of these could be big moves. But often overlooked is the probable return of Travis Frederick. Part of that is the good job Joe Looney did in his absence last year, but Frederick is on a different level. He’s widely considered among the best centers in the game, the case can be made he is the best. Not only is it his physical skills, but he is the quarterback of the offensive line. His presence elevates this offensive line.
The offense missed him in 2018, and if his final check-in goes okay next week, he shouldn’t be missed in 2019.