JACKSONVILLE – If possible, Telvin Smith would like to return to normal.
Not that he expects that any time soon off the field, but the third-year veteran said he wouldn't mind it happening around the Jaguars and around the locker room.
Smith, the Jaguars' starting weak-side linebacker, on Wednesday spoke to the media for the first time since missing two practices last week and playing against the Detroit Lions Sunday in the wake of the death of his brother.
Smith said he planned all last week to play Sunday.
"Football is simple," Smith said Wednesday as the Jaguars (2-8) prepared to play the Buffalo Bills (5-5) at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York, Sunday at 1 p.m. "If you understand it and you know what you're doing when you get out there, you should be able to play."
Smith's brother, Brian Moore, died in a shooting in Valdosta, Georgia, on November 13. Smith attended Moore's funeral Saturday and flew to Detroit later that day.
"It's a lot of credit to Telvin to being able to lock out the distractions he went through all week and come in and play well," Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash said. "He didn't have a lot of reps on the grass all week. He did a lot of studying on his own."
Wash said he and Smith never discussed if Smith would play Sunday.
"I just wanted whatever was most important for Telvin," Wash said. "If he felt he could play, then obviously we would open our arms with him, but if he said he couldn't play I would totally understand that too. … I'm not going to put pressure on him either way."
Smith registered a team-high eight tackles and also recovered a fumble with a quarterback hurry and a tackle for a loss in a game in which the Jaguars held Detroit to 14 yards rushing. After the game, he sat motionless with his head down at his locker for about 30 minutes, sobbing at times.
"It was just the emotions of the week," Smith said. "I truly used my teammates and thoughts from them. That lifted me to help me push my family through the tough times."
Smith said while he understood being a focus of attention for the last week he is anxious to have the attention return to normal.
"I wanted my brother to get all the love and respect that he deserved," Smith said. "But I never want to become a distraction to this team. So, that's my whole thing: go back to giving me just a few media guys [around his locker during the week] and keep trying to figure out the answers to this thing."
"I'LL BE GOOD TO GO"
Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles said he has no doubt he will play Sunday. Bortles played through a shoulder injury during the final three quarters of Sunday's loss to Detroit and threw two touchdowns with two interceptions. He said he "got some "rehab and treatment and stuff" early this week and expects to play Sunday. "I'll be good to go," he said. Bortles said he plans to practice as normal this week and that he didn't feel the injury hurt him against Detroit. "I think I was fine," Bortles said. "I can't say that it had a direct effect on anything. It was something that happened. If you're able to play, keep playing – and if not, let somebody else go play. I felt like I was able to keep playing." Bortles practiced full Wednesday and was listed on the injury report as such.
BACK AT IT
Cornerback Aaron Colvin and wide receiver Arrelious Benn were cleared from the concussion protocol and practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. Both sustained the injuries Sunday against Detroit.
Running back T.J. Yeldon (ankle) missed practice Wednesday after being injured against the Lions. He was among six players not practicing for the Jaguars Wednesday. The others: Defensive tackle Abry Jones (ankle), defensive end Jared Odrick (shoulder), Otto linebacker Dan Skuta (back), defensive end Chris Smith (eye) and tight end Julius Thomas (back). Bortles, defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (shoulder) and wide receiver Bryan Walters (concussion) all were listed as full with Colvin, Benn and left tackle Kelvin Beachum (knee) listed as limited.
Some of the best images from Wednesday's practice.
"I guess you could practice in a freezer or something, but besides that …"
Bortles on preparing for cold-weather games
"I've sat and talked to some of them, that once we start the next week you've got to put that [the frustration of losing] past you. I think our guys are doing a nice job with that. When we come in Monday I think we're all a little pissed and disappointed that we're not winning, but at the same time we know we've got to get ready, we've got to go out and work and try to put ourselves in position to get the next one."