JACKSONVILLE – As Aaron Colvin sees it, he hasn't peaked.
"I feel like my game can go even higher," the fourth-year cornerback said Wednesday as the Jaguars (7-4) prepared to play the Indianapolis Colts (3-8) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
Still, while bigger things may be ahead for the 2014 fourth-round draft selection, it may be difficult to match the feeling he had this week.
Colvin, a nickel corner and one of the more underrated important players on the NFL's top-ranked defense, on Tuesday was named the Jaguars' 2017 recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award – given annually to players on all 32 teams for inspiration, sportsmanship and courage.
It's a deserved honor for Colvin, who this past offseason dealt not only with the death of a brother from sickle cell anemia, but two surgeries – ankle and knee – that kept him out throughout the offseason until late in the preseason.
"For my teammates to recognize the hard work I've put in, I really don't have words to explain it," Colvin said.
Though Colvin technically doesn't start, calling him a reserve misses his importance to the defense. He has played 69 percent of defensive plays, and Jaguars defensive backs talk about their group in terms of five starters – cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, safeties Barry Church and Tashaun Gipson and Colvin.
"I'm very happy with the way he has played," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said. "He's someone we can rely on; he's someone that can make plays for us. He's having a heck of a year. It shows everyone that just because you have a setback it doesn't mean you can't come back and play at a high level."
Colvin is eighth on the team in tackles and – like Bouye and Ramsey – he has yet to give up a touchdown pass this season. He has four tackles for loss and four passes defensed.
The reason Colvin is having the best of his four NFL seasons?
"I'm healthy," he said. "Having my fiancé here with me has been a huge help, because it's taken a lot of pressure (away) off the field. I'm not worried about the little things anymore. My faith has taken over and I'm out there playing free."
Colvin, who said the Jaguars have three All-Pro corners -- "I'm an All-Pro corner, too," he said, "it's just that my role is to play inside" – is scheduled to become a free agent after the season. Ramsey has tweeted this season that he hopes the Jaguars re-sign Colvin, and Bouye voiced that sentiment Wednesday.
"He's done great things for us and he'll continue to do great things for us," said Bouye, who signed with the Jaguars as a free agent this past offseason. "But I told him, 'I went through the same situation.' He's getting married in the offseason. He has a family to take care of and we totally understand this is a business. Hopefully, we do everything we can to make him happy and bring him back."
Notes and observations from Wednesday around EverBank Field:
*Wide receiver Allen Hurns (ankle) and linebacker Telvin Smith (concussion) were the lone Jaguars players out of practice, with right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee) and left guard Patrick Omameh (quadriceps) practicing on a limited basis. Parnell has missed the last three games, and Omameh and Hurns have missed the last two with Smith leaving this past Sunday's game at Arizona with the injury. Wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee) practiced limited, as did Ramsey (ankle), safety Tashaun Gipson (knee), linebacker Donald Payne (hamstring) and linebacker Lerentee McCray (hamstring). Quarterback Blake Bortles (right wrist) and running back Leonard Fournette (ankle) practiced full. …
*Bouye on whether he thinks about the possibility of winning the division title this season: "That's always on my mind. I tell J (Ramsey) and Gip (Gipson), my mindset is, 'All-Pro, Super Bowl and division champs. The first step is to be division champs. I can help with an All-Pro selection that can help us get to the playoffs. If we win the division, that means we're going to the playoffs." …
*Defensive tackle Malik Jackson on the Jaguars' three-game home stand that begins Sunday against Indianapolis and includes games against Seattle (December 10) and Houston (December 17): "At the beginning of the season, we were like, 'Dang, where are all the home games?' Now, we're like, 'Ooh, it's awesome to be here at the end of the season – warm weather, you're with your crowd … you're just home. It's awesome. Hopefully, we can get these next few games and get some wins in this home stretch.'' …