As Aaron Kampman saw it, all he could do was wait and see. He's still waiting.
Kampman, the Jaguars' veteran defensive end who missed the regular-season opener Sunday after a setback with the knee he has been rehabilitating, said Monday afternoon he doesn't yet know a timetable for a return.
"I don't think there's really a set, 'Hey, this is it – this is where I'm going to be,''' Kampman said Monday, a day after watching the Jaguars beat the Tennessee Titans, 16-14, at EverBank Field in the regular-season opener.
"When I'm ready, I'll obviously be ready and the coaches and medical staff will make that decision. It's kind of a process that we're in. That's where it's at."
Kampman, who on Monday wore a knee brace and had his left knee tightly wrapped, missed the first three preseason games before playing the preseason finale. He had swelling after the preseason finale against St. Louis, and after being limited in practice last week, was ruled out against the Titans shortly before kickoff.
"We worked very hard, and continue to do work very hard to do everything right," Kampman said.
Kampman said while he had a rehabilitation plan in the preseason, as is the case now, he didn't know exactly when he would return.
"That's how we worked it the preseason," he said. "Things were progressing, and I'm not at a point yet where I can help our team. I wish I could tell you. I wish I could say, 'Hey listen. Ready to go at X time,' but that's above my scale and yours, too."
The Jaguars, playing without Kampman, held the Titans to 289 total yards, and limited Chris Johnson – a 2,000-yard rusher in 2009 – and the Titans to 43 yards rushing on 13 carries.
The Jaguars shut the Titans out in the first half, and aside from an 80-yard, broken-play touchdown pass from quarterback Matt Hasselbeck to wide receiver Kenny Britt, the Titans didn't score until late in the fourth period.
"I saw a smarter football team," Kampman said. "We're growing and we're taking the right steps. I believe the standard we're trying to set is going in the right direction. We are not a finished product and that's exciting to me.
Kampman said by smarter he means having more players in better position more often.
"It's football awareness – knowing your assignments," he said. "That doesn't mean we're finished. We've got room to grow there, but guys have taken steps. There were definite improvements in that area and I think that's good.
"We took a pretty good step yesterday. That's why you never get too upset about the preseason stuff, because there is a difference. As much as you try to make it a regular-season game, the preseason is still the preseason."
For Kampman, it's the second consecutive season he has tried to return from a season-ending anterior cruciate knee ligament sustained the season before.
Last season, he returned and played the first eight games, registering four sacks during that period.
"This one's different," he said. "One thing I've learned is that as much as I want to compare the two, they're all different. If you say you had a car accident, it's well, 'Was it 10 mph, was it 15 mph, was it 20 mph. It's all a car accident, but there are different things.
"There are different issues that go on when you have the knee surgery that I've had. I've experienced some of that. It's nothing that's uncommon or crazy, but it's part of this process we're in. Last year was a different year and this year is different as well."