JACKSONVILLE – He's getting closer, and that's good.
Josh Allen said that doesn't mean he's necessarily playing Sunday. But it does mean a frustrating time is closer to ending.
"I'm working as hard as I can to get back on the field as soon as possible," Allen said Thursday afternoon as the Jaguars (1-5) prepared to play the Los Angeles Chargers (1-4) at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood Calif., Sunday at 4:25 p.m.
"It's a day-by-day process. I'm doing everything I can to get back in there."
Allen, the Jaguars' second-year defensive end and a Pro Bowl selection last season, has missed the last two games with a knee injury sustained against the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4. He has practiced limited the last two days.
The Week 5 and 6 losses at Houston and at home against Detroit are the first games Allen has missed in the NFL, college or high school.
"It has been stressful for me, man – to not be able to help my team out in a couple of situations," Allen said. "Not traveling to Houston … that was a big one for me, the first game I've ever missed in my career. Watching it on TV, not being out there to support them, not being out there to cheer them on … it was really hard for me at first. It definitely sucked, to be honest."
Allen said he watched that Week 5 loss at Houston with his family, with his two sons wearing what they normally would wear on game day.
"I definitely enjoyed my time with my family; there's not a lot of Sundays I get to do that with them," Allen said. "That was a blessing. I try to find a positive within anything, and that was a big positive. But from the standpoint of me being a football player and a competitor, it kind of got me down."
Allen, who set a franchise rookie record with 10.5 sacks last season, has worked extensively with rookie defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson this season – and the two spent time working after practice Thursday. The No. 20 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, Chaisson has one sack and two quarterback hits this season. Allen has two sacks and seven hits – both team highs – in four games.
Allen said he has advised Chaisson to "Don't think, just react. Just play free. Play like you're playing backyard football and just react."
"When you overthink and overanalyze in a game, it tends to slow your game down," Allen said. "He's just got to see ball, get ball: See a man and see what he's doing, then just react off of that and just go. That's something we've been harping on.
"He's still a rookie, but he's getting it now."
While Allen worked limited for a second consecutive day Thursday, two Jaguars defensive starters – linebacker Myles Jack (knee) and safety Jarrod Wilson (hamstring) – missed a second consecutive day of practice. Wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. was among seven Jaguars players who practiced limited for a second consecutive day Thursday; the others were linebacker Allen, Dakota Allen (foot), guard Ben Bartch (shoulder), kicker Josh Lambo (left hip), guard Andrew Norwell (ankle) and wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. (hamstring). Guard A.J. Cann (foot/knee), tight end Tyler Eifert (neck) and defensive tackle Abry Jones (ankle) did not practice after working limited Wednesday. Defensive end Adam Gotsis and tight end James O'Shaughnessy missed practiced Thursday with scheduled days off and center Brandon Linder practiced Thursday after a scheduled day off Wednesday.
Allen: "We can't keep reflecting on those losses we had. We play as one and we play for each other. Our record is 0-0 and we're trying to get 1-0 this week. That's our mindset. That's what we try to harp on. That's how we have to motivate and that's how we have to play."