ORCHARD PARK, NY (WKBW) — After starting Training Camp on the COVID/Reserve list, Ike Boettger has been back at practice since August 5th and is getting better each day.
"I felt very weak, especially that first week, and then it has slowly come back to me," Boettger told reporters Sunday aftenoon. "My conditioning is not where it was before I got it, but from my first practice back to now, it's 100 times better. I've seen improvement and it's very encouraging, but it's taken a little longer than I expected."
Boettger wouldn't say whether or not he's fully vaccinated, but did return to the field before his teammate, Dion Dawkins. While Dawkins was hospitalized for four days, Boettger called his symptoms "nothing crazy", mentioning fatigue as the biggest one.
"There's not a lot of physical activity you can do to battle it. I tried for a couple days, and I was like, there's not any way I can fight through this," he said. "There's times where I want to go do extra conditioning, but resting is what makes me feel a lot better. I was in shape before I got it, so I know it's there and it's coming back."
The fourth-year guard started seven of 12 games last season, and with more competition brought in during the offseason, Boettger knows he needs to be at the top of his game if he wants to be on the field just as much, if not even more this season.
It's why he's not just working his way back from his COVID diagnosis, he's working to be the best player he can be for this team.
"I'm not the player I need to be or want to be, especially right now. I know i have the potential to be a much better player," he said. "I always try to keep that chip on my shoulder and have that mind set. You look around the field and there's awesome players everywhere. I want to put myself in a position to help any way I can."