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Open Locker Room: Posluszny ready

Posted Nov 20, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars MLB Paul Posluszny says he “absolutely” expects to play against Houston Texans Sunday.

JACKSONVILLE – Paul Posluszny was back where he wanted to be Wednesday.

He’s certain he’ll be back where he wants to be Sunday, too.

Posluszny, the Jaguars’ starting middle linebacker who missed a loss to Arizona Sunday with a concussion, was scheduled to return to practice Wednesday afternoon and expects to play against the Houston Texans Sunday.

“Absolutely,” Posluszny said early Wednesday afternoon as the Jaguars (1-9) prepared for their first full practice of the week while preparing to play the Texans (2-8) at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas, Sunday at 1. p.m.

“I don’t see anything happening (that would prevent him from playing). If I go through a full practice and I’m running and I don’t feel right, then we have to be careful.”

Strong-side linebacker Russell Allen moved into Posluszny’s middle linebacker spot Sunday, with rookie John Lotulelei starting for Allen. The defense allowed a season-low 14 yards on 24 carries in Posluszny’s absence, prompting Posluszny to joke about the importance of his return Wednesday, but outside linebacker Geno Hayes said Posluszny’s return is key.

“He understands the defense in and out,” Hayes said. Hayes said. “It’s good to have a guy in there who can orchestrate things.”

Posluszny did not attend the Jaguars’ loss to Arizona, watching the game at home on recommendations of doctors and trainers. He worked out Monday and Tuesday and participated in the Jaguars’ walkthrough Wednesday morning.

“I’d be disappointed in myself if I didn’t play Sunday,” he said, adding of watching the game at home, “That was a different feeling all together, but I’m glad I can be back now.”

Posluszny worked briefly in individual drills Wednesday, but aside from that, missed practice all three days leading up to the Arizona game after sustaining a concussion with 2:11 remaining in a November 10 victory over Tennessee. On the play, he collided with Jaguars defensive end Andre Branch, which Branch’s helmet hitting the front forehead of Posluszny’s helmet.

“I got hit right in that sweet spot,” Posluszny said Wednesday. “I never lost consciousness, but it was enough I wasn’t myself.”

Posluszny said he felt fine on the sidelines immediately thereafter. He was seen on the CBS broadcast of the game lobbying to reenter the game, but said Wednesday trainers were correct not allowing him to return.

“At that instant, I thought I could,” Posluszny said. “I shook it off and was fine. It’s the fourth quarter and we have two minutes left. Why not just finish out the game. But that obviously wasn’t the right thing to do.”

Posluszny added of the trainers, “I’m grateful that they’re a lot more intelligent than I am. They made the right call 100 percent and I’m glad they did.”

Posluszny also said he didn’t have severe symptoms last week, so he wasn’t overly concerned about the injury long-term.

Because of the concussion, Posluszny hadn’t been allowed under NFL rules to speak to the media since winning AFC’s Player of the Week honors for his performance in the victory over Tennessee.

“Overall, the defense did an unbelievable job,” he said. “Coming off the field, talking with my linebackers coach (Mark Duffner), we weren’t overly impressed. We could have done a lot of things better, but it (the award) showed defensively that we had a really solid game plan.”

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