Even if Weaver can get ready to play, he would face a challenge from fullback Owen Schmitt, who had a decent season in Weaver's place and has a far less expensive contract. Weaver would have to be not just ready to run but recovered enough to win a competition for a job. Weaver, having signed the richest fullback contract in NFL history last year, is owed nearly $2 million more in base salary in 2011 than Schmitt.
If training camp is canceled by a lockout, Weaver would have more time to recover, but the Eagles would have less time to gauge his readiness to play.
Weaver, a leader on the team and hailed for his local charitable work, still has months of rehabilitation before the season begins. But Lewis did not soft-pedal the extent of the damage.
"It was a horrible injury, actually," Lewis said. "This wasn't just a typical ACL or an MCL. This was pretty much major." Still, he was bullish on Weaver's return.
"He's working his butt off," Lewis said.
Weaver tore his anterior cruciate ligament and posterior lateral corner in his left knee on Sept. 12. He also suffered nerve damage on the gruesome hit. He had surgery in September to repair the knee and then a follow-up to clean out scar tissue in November. He had tendon surgery on his left foot last week.
Weaver knew the foot surgery would be needed when the injury was first diagnosed, Lewis said. Renowned orthopedist James Andrews performed all three surgeries and has been pleased with Weaver's progress, according to the agent.
Weaver, ever-cheerful, has used Twitter to give out regular, hopeful updates on his two-a-day rehabilitation sessions.
"Man it's sometime crazy for me to think that I'm here in this position, but [I'm] reminded that God is still the healer," he wrote Tuesday.
In another recent post, he wrote, "on my way to therapy this morning to get back what was taken from me."
His Twitter account even includes updates on the food he eats before and after his rehab work: a bagel yesterday morning, Subway in the afternoon.
A recent report from CSNPhilly.com quoted a source saying Weaver has a "remote" chance of playing again. Lewis said Weaver was upset by the story.
"Don't believe it unless you hear it from me!" Weaver wrote on Twitter.
Weaver spoke to reporters Jan. 5 and said then that his rehabilitation was "going great, walking great, feeling great, on schedule."
But, asked if he could be ready for training camp, he said. "I really hope so, but if not, we'll definitely be prepared at some point in the season." He notably didn't say when.
Contact staff writer Jonathan Tamari at 215-854-5214 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JonathanTamari.