Everyone's wondered how Joey Bosa felt in his return to practice ever since Head Coach Anthony Lynn announced on Wednesday that the star edge rusher would take the field for the first time since injuring his foot prior to the season opener.
Well, 24 hours later, we have the answer.
And it's exactly what we've hoped to hear.
"(I feel) pretty good," he said. "(Wednesday) was a good day. I'm just continuing on with the process today, and we'll see how it feels going into the weekend…I feel good today. It's really not decided yet (if I'll play vs. the Broncos). We're just continuing with the plan, and that's to practice this week. And we'll see how it feels on Sunday."
Bosa wasn't the only one encouraged by how he looked on the field as Defensive Coordinator Gus Bradley was pleased by his performance.
"It's great," he said. "He's been in the building the whole time, so to have him in the meetings but to actually see him out in the practice field (was great)…. Just from the limited reps that he got, he looked pretty good. I think the big thing is, 'Now how do you feel?' It's like I said, it's more of a wait and see how he handles each day."
So far, so good.
While some might feel rusty after being sidelined for so long, Bosa explained it was easy to jump back into things after ramping up his activity level over the past month.
"I don't see many challenges after going out there yesterday," he said. "I feel pretty good. The last month getting back into shape has been really intense. I've done 39 workouts in 29 days. So I'm in shape. I'm running as fast as ever, so physically I think it's going to be fine. But mentally just getting back into the plays, learning the playbook and learning the new stuff that they've added (will be the toughest). I know mostly everything already from being in the system already for a year, (so) I don't think it's going to be too tough of a transition."
It's worth noting that Bradley wasn't the only coach eager to watch number 99 in action.
It's rare that offensive coaches peek over at the defensive side of the ball, but Offensive Coordinator Ken Whisenhunt couldn't help himself.
"Human nature though, I did watch him a couple of times, and just from what little bit I saw, he looked good." Whiz said. "Whenever you have a player of his caliber that is missing time, it's always good to see him back on the field. And I think just seeing the excitement on his face for being out there (was great) because I know it was tough for him (to miss so much time)."
Tough would be an understatement.
It's common for players to realize just how much they love the game once it's taken away from them, and it's been no different for Joey Bosa. In fact, it sunk in right away.
"When I walked into the Kansas City game into the locker room (in Week 1), it really hit me then when I wasn't playing," he said. "I remember almost choking up, and I had to walk out of the locker room…. It just gave me perspective on how much this game really matters to me. When you really miss practicing, you know that you miss football because practice becomes such a grind throughout the year. It just put things into perspective for me."
That's helped in what has been a long few months for the 23-year old.
He's used to playing the game at full speed, and in order to get back to his usual self, he literally had to learn how to walk all over again while dealing with significant pain in his foot.
"It started literally with walking," he said. "Walking 20 yards. Walking backwards 20 yards. Walking faster and rising up on my toes. It literally was as slow as a progression as you can imagine, to moving forward a little faster, to backpedaling, to backpedaling and breaking at a really short distance and progressing from there to running straight forward 20 yards. It was just a safe, slow progression to make sure that every step of the way it wasn't getting too sore, and it wasn't causing any damage."
Still, just because they've been ensuring there won't be further damage doesn't mean he's pain free.
"Until I'm done playing this year, I'll probably be experiencing soreness and discomfort," he said. "It's going to be pretty tough, but it's something you just have to manage with ice and whatever, and volume of course. It's something that I expect I'm going to have to be dealing with the rest of the year."
The good news, however, is that Bosa expects to avoid surgery following the season.
"That was the whole point of this process," he explained. "I could've went and got the surgery done and been on my way to recovery (that way), but the doctor had a strong feeling that it wasn't needed if we did this the right way. Even after that, we were running into some bumps and not sure how it was supposed to feel and this and that. It was kind of tricky, but at this point, we're very confident that we're not going to need anything like that."