The Los Angeles Chargers will have much-needed reinforcements on the defensive line with Joey Bosa set to return in a matchup against the visiting New York Jets on Sunday.
Bosa, who missed the last two games with a concussion, practiced for the second consecutive day Thursday.
The team leader with 4.5 sacks should provide a shot in the arm for a Los Angeles defense that has given up an average of 30 points in his absence.
Despite the pair of missed contests, Bosa also leads the defense in quarterback hits (13) and tackles for loss (eight).
The Chargers' defense was expected to be one of the NFL's top units before dealing with a rash of injuries, most of them to stars.
Second-year safety Derwin James and two Pro Bowlers, cornerback Chris Harris Jr. and defensive end Melvin Ingram, have missed time this year along with Bosa in what could have been a feared defensive unit.
Bosa knows that the Chargers can't make excuses anymore on that side of the ball, and he is prepared to increase his leadership role.
"I am not pointing fingers, but if you want to win and be a great team, you got to call it out and you got to tell it how it is," he said. "I always want to say it starts with me because I'm as big of a culprit as anybody. Two or three of my sacks this year, you see me holding on for dear life when I can easily reach out and go for the ball. I need to do a better job with that.
"When the balls are thrown at you or any opportunity, you can't make silly mistakes. You just have to capitalize on the opportunities."
--Field Level Media