SANTA CLARA -- Nick Bosa's much-anticipated return appears to be right on track.
While head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch have attempted to keep their hopes tempered for the return of the 2019 Defensive Player of the Year, Bosa believes he will be ready for the Detroit Lions in Week 1.
“I looked at the schedule, but I knew when it was an early injury that for the most part I would be ready to go for Week 1,” Bosa said Thursday. “And everything right now is trending towards that. So I’m hoping to ramp it up as I go and be ready to give it all I got Week 1."
It hasn’t been an easy road for the pass rusher, who admitted that the injury took a toll on his mental health. Bosa, who is known for being a fierce competitor, shared that his mind went to some “pretty dark places” during his recovery. He relied on his family to keep him grounded, rehabbing and working out with his brother Joey, a star defensive lineman for the Los Angeles Chargers.
Bosa’s 2020 ACL injury is his second; the first one he sustained was in 2015 prior to enrolling at Ohio State. Having already gone through the injury gave Bosa an idea of what was in store for his recovery.
Knowing he can’t rush his return no matter how badly he wants to get back into the mix, Bosa has been participating in position drills since the beginning of training camp. He has sat out of team drills and one-on-ones with offensive linemen.
“I’m pretty patient,” Bosa said. “I know it’s a big injury, but it’s going to pay off taking it slow, just listening to my doctor and the trainers here and I’m very confident in how I’m going to feel out there on the field this year.”
Bosa spent much of the offseason in Florida, where he and his brother took advantage of having a personal chef. He returned to camp looking leaner, having taken his nutrition game to the next level, but confirmed that he has maintained his weight.
The star pass rusher has done as much as he can to simulate the movement that happens in a live-game situation, but he knows that facing off against the full weight of an offensive lineman will be the true test of his recovery.
While in Florida, Bosa admitted he experienced some post-workout swelling, but everything has been on track since he reported to the facility.
“I’m really happy with where I’m at,” Bosa said. “Coming out here, I’m actually even more happy than I thought. I was still dealing with some stuff, but since I’ve been out here it’s responded amazing. We’re going to take it slow but I’m very happy.
“Right now I’m feeling very close, so just keeping it up. I’m moving better than I ever have right now, for sure.”