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Joshua Palmer Returns to Practice, Hopeful to Play Soon


The Bolts were joined by a familiar face on the practice field Wednesday.

Wide receiver Joshua Palmer was designated for return from Injured Reserve on Wednesday and practiced in a limited fashion for the first time in over five weeks. This now opens a 21-day window where the receiver can practice with team and ramp up for a possible return.

Palmer was in good spirits in the locker room following practice as he was excited to be able to take the field with his teammates.

"It feels good," Palmer said Wednesday about being back. "Being able to run around, being able to be with the guys and stuff. Feels good, real good."

Palmer later added: "It felt good. I've been running for a while, but mainly just being around the guys."

Chargers Head Coach Brandon Staley said Wednesday that while no timeline is set for return, it was a positive sign to see him practice for the first time since late October.

"Good to get him out there," Staley said. "No timeline, but it's a good sign for him to be out there and practice a little bit today."

Justin Herbert added about Palmer: "Josh is a special player. We know that he's fighting. He's doing everything that he can to be out on the field. He's a tough guy. Injuries are a part of the NFL. It's tough dealing with adversity like that, but he's doing everything that he can in the training room, in the film room. Whenever he's called, I know he'll be ready."

Palmer hurt his knee earlier in the season and was listed as questionable heading into Week 8 against the Bears, where he eventually played.

But in that game, Palmer said he felt "a lot of discomfort" after being tackled following a catch, ultimately leading to the receiver being placed on Injured Reserve and missing the last five games.

The recovery process for the third-year wideout has been good, however, as he feels in good shape even after the absence.

"All I know now is that it's healing correctly, and they opened that window today, so I'll be back soon," Palmer said.

"I always feel conditioned," Palmer later added about being in shape. "Even if I don't run for months, I always feel like I'm always conditioned more than my opponent. I should be straight."

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And while it was tough to not be out there with his teammates, Palmer said he tried to support them in other ways during his time recovering.

"I've just been there cheering my guys on, wishing them the best and coming out of games healthy," Palmer said about the time he's missed. "That's all you can ask for."

"It's been more tough not being able to be out there," Palmer later added.

Palmer's injury was another to a wide receiver room that has seen their fair share of attrition over the past two seasons.

But Palmer pointed out that's life in the NFL, and it's something that almost every team deals with at some point in time.

"Of course, you want to have all the guys out there," Palmer said. "Yeah, I could say it's frustrating when you're not out there with the guys. Mike [Williams] going down is hard, me going down is not easy. But it's just the game.

"Just like a few teams out there that have injuries at other positions," Palmer added. "Just happens to be the receiving core right now."

When asked what he would need to see from himself and whether he would be ready to play this week, Palmer said he wasn't sure, focusing only on what was in front of him every day.

But when he does return, his return will be a big boost for the Chargers offense in this final stretch of the season.

"I'll be ready to play soon," Palmer said. "I've got 21 days to return so within 21 days, I'll be back on the field."

"21 days is all I know. I give myself 21 days, so I try not to look too much in the future," Palmer later added. "Just one day at a time."

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