Outside linebacker Kayvon Thibodeaux
Q: How much stronger does your knee feel this week compared to last week?
A: It feels a lot better. I've just been making really good gains every day. Just continuing to kind of bring back those reps, a different kind of motion and getting comfortable back in my position.
Q: How are you deciding how much you do? Is that a day-to-day process?
A: Just trying to tolerate the pain and make sure I don't do too much and reaggravate it. Make sure I really do everything in my capacity and just continue to try to push that envelope.
Q: Is there a specific hurdle that you have to clear before you're good to go?
A: Just being able to be safe in uncontrolled circumstances. The thing about injuries – it's one thing when it's a controlled situation and you're just working out, but once you start going against guys, you can't really control the variables. That's when you see how strong you really are.
Q: How much have you been able to practice these last few days?
A: I had some plays in team. I started getting my flow back and getting team reps. Other than that, I've been pretty limited and just really working on the mechanics of it.
Q: How difficult is it to say I want to play but realize there are still 16 more games to go?
A: I think that's where I lean on my vets because it is a long season, it is my first one. I'm not really used to sitting out, I'm not used to not being able to contribute but just realizing how long the season is and focusing on what I can control now and still trying to be the best teammate and best person that I can be to contribute to the game.
Q: Do you think Sunday would be unlikely?
A: I wouldn't call it unlikely. We're still playing it, I just want to make sure. We want to cross our t's and dot our i's before I get back out there.
Q: How much of it is playing with a brace and getting used to that? Trying to figure out how comfortable you are.
A: The brace is different, but it's not really too different. I think it's really just, it's not even really a brace. The brace, you get comfortable with that fast, but I think it's the unknown. It's me being confident in that I won't have that cloud over my head while I'm playing.
Q: Is there any way to clear that mental hurdle or is it that you have to go out there and do it for yourself?
A: I've got to go do it. I've got to go do it and I've got to do it confidently and I have to do it knowing that I can do it at my highest ability.
Q: Where are you in that process?
A: We're getting close. Like I said, trying not to look too far. What's today? I lost track of time. Today's Thursday, so we've still got Friday, Saturday. But yeah, I'm really confident in this Sunday.
Q: Have (Outside Linebacker) Oshane (Ximines) and (Outside Linebacker) Jihad (Ward) told you to relax and they'll take care of it for now?
A: I wouldn't say the word, 'relax,' but I would say as a collective the outside linebacker group everybody has been stepping up and everybody has still been contributing. Even though me and (Outside Linebacker) Azeez (Ojulari) are out, we still have been trying to contribute to the bigger picture and still trying to do what we can to support the team.
Q: You sound really confident in this Sunday, do you feel really good about your chances of being able to play?
A: We've been making great gains. Ultimately it will come to how I feel come Friday and Saturday. Everything has been going well and yeah, I'm optimistic about it.
Q: Is it your call and are the trainers saying, 'You've had this much work how do you feel?' Or is it the trainers?
A: Obviously it will still be my call because at the end of the day, once you're out there, you're out there. At the end of the day, it will be my call but of course I have been working back and forth with them and they've been setting the stage and setting the plan to continue to grow and see where I'm at.
Q: What do you think that will be like Sunday if you do play? Home opener, your NFL debut, what's that going to be like?
A: It'll be exciting. It's been a long time coming. It's been a crazy year worth of events and yeah – it'll be unbelievable to be out there.
Q: How hard was that for you? You've waited so long to be in the NFL and the first regular season game you sat out.
A: I wasn't really too worried. They say the second rat always gets the cheese. As long as I continue to do what I need to do, I'll be good in the long run.
Q: Can you estimate what percentage you're at right now?
A: If I'm on the field, I'll be 100 percent, regardless of how I feel...
Q: Where are you right now?
A: Right now, I would say it's day to day. We're still growing, but I would say I'm very optimistic. It's good.
Q: When you said you did some team work, what does that mean?
A: As far as? Like how to contribute.
Q: In practice, I mean.
A: Continuing to give guys looks whether I'm standing in or whether I'm doing something low value or continuing to share what I know. Azeez as well, just continuing to share what we know whether it's about a tackle we played against, a tackle we've seen or maybe while we're watching the game or while we're watching practice, just continuing to talk to guys and give the things that we're seeing on film and help them break down the game.
Q: If the game was today, would you play?
A: Well, you know, the game is not today so we will just keep taking it day to day. I was able to practice today so I did 100 percent get better. I think that's really the goal, just continue to get better every day.
Q: Did you do more today than yesterday?
Q: (Outside Linebacker Tomon) Fox has the early lead on the rookie sack totals.
A: Oh yeah, he's been eating. He got us started, he got that donut off the board and now it's time for them to roll in.
Then the other day with Toney, over and over same question, to the point it's just offensive, then they don't even ask the coach (Kafka) one question about it. Not one!