Malcom Floyd cleared for contact

Updated: May 28, 2014, 9:48 AM ET
By Eric D. Williams | ESPN.com

SAN DIEGO -- Three months ago, Malcom Floyd didn't know whether he would ever return to the football field.

[+] EnlargeMalcolm Floyd
Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesChargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd says he has been cleared for contact after missing most of last season following a scary neck injury.

But the pain finally subsided in his injured neck, and the 32-year-old receiver said he got clearance to fully participate in the San Diego Chargers' first organized team activity Tuesday.

Floyd said he got clearance from Chargers team doctor Christopher Wahl and his personal doctor, Robert Watkins.

"I eventually got over the hump," Floyd said. "And I knew this day was coming."

Floyd said he's pleased to be back on the field with his teammates.

"I hope I can add some more firepower [to the offense]," Floyd said. "I felt really good today. So today's down, and we're looking forward to tomorrow."

Floyd suffered a serious injury in a Sept. 15 game at Philadelphia, getting sandwiched between two defenders while attempting to make a catch over the middle of the field. Floyd finished the 2013 regular season on the injured reserve list.

Considered a long shot to make it back, Floyd diligently rehabbed his injury, ultimately gaining enough stability and strength to get back on the field.

"I didn't give up," he said. "I stayed working out every day. There were some questions there, but I just didn't give up, because the doctors said there was a chance of me getting back out there. So I just kept working, and now I'm here."

With Floyd out, Keenan Allen emerged as San Diego's go-to receiver, finishing with 71 catches for 1,046 yards and eight touchdowns his rookie season. Now, Floyd is working to earn a starting role next to the second-year Cal product.

But Floyd still has to prove he can stay healthy. The University of Wyoming product has not played a full 16-game season since 2009.

One person happy to see Floyd back on the field was quarterback Philip Rivers. The duo connected on a handful of passes throughout San Diego's first OTA on Tuesday as Floyd tries to work himself back into football shape.

"It's exciting," Rivers said. "This is a guy I've been with since day one here. You know Malcom didn't want to end his career this way. It was such a fluke kind of deal. I know he feels good. He feels strong. He feels confident and looks great. We all expect him to be the Malcom we've always known."

Floyd's ability to deal with contact was tested Tuesday. He took a good blow when middle linebacker Donald Butler got caught in the air while going after the ball. Butler braced his impact by grabbing Floyd, and both players fell to the ground.

"I think I'm ready for regular contact now after today," Floyd said, smiling. "But it felt good. This is something I've been looking forward to. There's no more looking back."

Eric D. Williams

ESPN San Diego Chargers reporter

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