COSTA MESA, Calif. — Los Angeles Chargers edge rusher Joey Bosa returned to practice Thursday for the first time since undergoing groin surgery after Week 3 and said after the workout that he’s feeling the best he has in “years.”
“I’m feeling really good. It’s kind of revitalizing, honestly. This was something that really caused me a lot of pain and kind of stress throughout the last couple of years, and I’ve gotten to a point where I was used to it and I didn’t understand how much was really wrong,” Bosa said. “Obviously, it sucks to miss all this time, but its honestly something that I really, really needed to get done.”
Bosa, 27, explained that he’d dealt with nagging groin issues for two years before it tore completely in a 38-10 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sept. 25.
“It’s something that I could train through and get strong enough to play, but to be able to do everything that I want to do,” Bosa said, before trailing off and shaking his head. “A lot of workarounds. This offseason was babying a lot of things, working around a lot of things. I came in saying I was feeling as good as I have in a long time, which I was, but it’s been a long time since I’ve actually been able to feel good and push things the way I want to.”
The Chargers have designated Bosa to return from injured reserve, opening a 21-day window for the team to decide whether to activate him.
The Chargers are 9-6 and clinched their first playoff berth since 2018 on Monday with a 20-3 victory over the Indianapolis Colts. With two games remaining in the regular season, they are the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoff picture.
After undergoing individual workouts for several weeks, Bosa expressed some concern about football conditioning but otherwise was optimistic that he could be ready to play Sunday against the Los Angeles Rams (5-10) at SoFi Stadium.
“I’m feeling really good, and I kind of made it a point not to come back until I felt confident in myself and being able to perform in a game and not just go out there for three reps at practice and feel decent,” Bosa said. “I’m feeling very good.”
Bosa’s return is expected to provide a significant boost for a defense that has recently experienced a total turnaround. After allowing an average of 25.8 points through Week 13 (ranked 30th), the Bolts have produced the league’s top-ranked unit over the past three games, allowing an average of 11.3 points per game.
Defensive coordinator Renaldo Hill said Bosa’s return would impact the entire defense, but especially edge-rushing counterpart Khalil Mack, who has eight sacks this season — including four in the first three games when Bosa was still on the field.
“Just the energy he’s going to bring, he’s going to be able to get to the quarterback with his pass rush, take some of the chips off of Khalil that he’s been experiencing all year,” Hill said. “He opens up a lot of things for a lot of different people in this defense.”
In three games this season, Bosa had seven tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble.