SAN DIEGO — It took a little over three weeks, but San Diego Chargers rookie defensive end Joey Bosa(Joey Bosa Jersey) finally practiced in full pads with his teammates on Wednesday.
Hampered by a minor hamstring strain since ending a month-long contract stalemate during training camp and signing his deal on Aug. 29, Bosa had participated in just one practice in a helmet, jersey and shorts the following day before being slowed by the lingering injury.
Bosa talked to reporters after practice, saying it was the first time he put on pads since Ohio State took on Notre Dame in the Fiesta Bowl back on New Year’s Day.
Bosa only participated in three defensive drives in that game before being ejected for targeting.
The Chargers have just nine padded practices remaining this season, so getting the former Buckeye ready for game action could be a difficult task because he did not participate in training camp.
Bosa was listed as a limited participant on San Diego’s injury report. He said he did individual work and a good amount of running. He said that, overall, practice went well.
Still, Bosa wasn’t ready to say he will play on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
“It’s a day-by-day thing,” he said.
Bosa showed no ill-effects from the workout. He said his health and conditioning felt good after practice. However, one thing he’ll have to work on is getting into football shape this week.
“It’s good, but it’s something I need to work on,” Bosa said. “Because putting the pads on and playing football is different than anything you’re going to do, any conditioning.
“So it will take a little bit of time, because obviously these guys have had all camp, and all preseason and the last couple games. But it will be fine.”
Chargers coach Mike McCoy remained steadfast in his approach, saying he’s taking Bosa’s inevitable appearance in a game day-by-day, but his participation in practice is a step in the right direction.
“It’s the next step that Joey needed to make,” McCoy said. “He had a little setback when he got here. He’s been working hard to get back out here, so it was good to get him out on the field today.”
McCoy went on to say he will let folks know when Bosa gets the green light to play on game day.
“Mentally, he’s in all of the meetings,” Chargers defensive coordinator John Pagano told Xtra 1360 Fox Sports Radio. “He’s asking questions. Does a level of frustration come in because you’re not out there doing the things you want to do? Sure.
“But the most important thing is making sure he’s right, and making sure he’s ready to go. Once he comes back, he stays back. He’s in it for the rest of the year, so those are the most important things.”