In the second of his exclusive monthly columns for Independent.co.uk, Jacksonville Jaguars defensive captain and former Pro Bowler Paul Posluszny goes through another frustrating injury, the first quarter of the season and his newborn keeping him up at night
The ankle injury that kept me out of the game last week is healing up well. I’m looking forward to being able to play this week against the Houston Texans.
I missed last Sunday unfortunately but it was close. We went out pre-game to see if I could move around and do everything I need to do to be able to play linebacker. I was close, but there was still some movements that I wouldn’t be able to do. I wouldn’t have been as effective as I needed to be.
Being injured is very frustrating, they are the worst part of our game. We spend the entire off-season training, trying to get my body right and doing everything you can so that you can be healthy for all 16 games and then when something happens and you miss a chance to play, it’s the worst part of the game.
A lot of my recovery was just trying to remove all the swelling that was around the ankle, gain that flexibility and movement back into it and remove the inflammation in the ligaments.
It should only be a short- term injury, that should just continue to heal. As long as I don’t have any major setbacks I’ll be back to 100 per cent healthy.
It’s important getting back on the field and having an opportunity to play. But if I’m going to play then I want to do so at a high level. I don’t want to go out there and just say ‘OK, I’m happy to be back on the field’. No, I need to get back out there and play at a high level and have an impact for our town.
I wouldn’t say that injuries are going against us this season, it’s part of the business. Every team has injuries throughout the year and things that they have to deal with. We understand that. Guys are going to get hurt from time to time, you want them to get healthy as fast as possible so they can get back to helping the team.
Last week we had a tough loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They have a very good running back in Doug Martin and he ran the ball really, really well, but some of that stuff was mistakes on our part – poor tackling. It’s something we feel like we can fix, as a team we feel like we didn’t play at our highest level, that’s what makes it frustrating because you want to be able to do all the things right, so you can have that type of success.
This Sunday we will face another outstanding back, Houston’s Arian Foster. So for us, from a defensive stand-point, we have to be really good at what we call ‘setting the edge’ of our defence. He is a guy that likes to run to the perimeter and then cut the football back and he gets large gains that way. We have to be very disciplined in that sense, in containing him so that he can’t get those large cuts up the field.
The good thing is that we still have a lot of football left to play. We want to own the AFC South, we want to own our division.
We’ve only played one divisional game, where we suffered a tough loss to the Indianapolis Colts - and that was a game that we should have won. But we feel like if we have success in our division then we’ll have an opportunity for the pla-yoffs. You do that by taking it one week at a time, and Houston is another great opportunity for us to play a division opponent and get a win in the AFC South. There’s still an opportunity, we have to be very precise in what we do and take advantage of the game.
After the Houston game we travel to Wembley Stadium to face the Buffalo Bills. It’s been a great place to play, it’s been a great atmosphere in the past. Wembley is always very exciting , very loud, very energetic crowd there and we’re excited to play there.
This time we’re only in London for three days rather than a week, I’m not sure why - you better ask our travel guy! The guys really enjoy the chance to get out and see the city, it’s such a great city you want to have an opportunity to experience all of it while we’re there. When we are there for a week the guys really enjoyed being there for that time.
But when you ask some guys who have families and wives and kids at home they might say ‘hey, it’s better to shorten the week and be away from home for a shorter period’. There are pros and cons for both.
Off the field I don’t get much time for anything else during the season.
It’s crazy, our lives are completely devoted to football. Our work day, you’re at the practice facility all day. It’s like you go home, eat dinner, kiss the wife hello and then it’s pretty much time to go to sleep – so there’s not much else going on. You just about have time to spend with the family.
The good news is that my daughter, who turned three months this week, just slept through the night for the first time so that’s a huge positive for us!
The Jacksonville Jaguars have launched a free ‘online playbook’ to introduce people in the UK to JagTag - a new easy-to-learn version of touch American football. View or download for free at www.jagtag.co.uk
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