JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Jacksonville Jaguars linebacker Telvin Smith is back with the team following his brother’s death and expected to play Sunday at Detroit.
Smith attended meetings and took part in the team’s walkthrough Friday. Smith’s brother was shot and killed in their hometown of Valdosta, Georgia, on Sunday. Smith traveled home Monday and missed several days of practice and meetings. Adding to his emotional week, Smith’s girlfriend gave birth to their son Wednesday.
“It was great to see him back,” Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said Friday. “He (was) pretty sharp.”
Smith planned to return to Valdosta later Friday and remain there for his brother’s funeral Saturday. Smith will fly to Detroit in time for Sunday’s game against the Lions.
Bradley anticipates Smith will play.
“I think the arrow’s up,” Bradley said. “I’m not saying 100 percent because it’s an emotional time (Saturday). I can’t tell you how he’s going to come out of that. Knowing Telvin and what he’s all about, anticipate him playing.”
Smith’s teammates were glad to have the third-year pro back.
“I can’t tell you how much he means to this team,” linebacker Paul Posluszny said. “Everybody was just so excited to see him and excited to have him back in this building. I think he’s going to play a great football game Sunday.”
Smith ranks second on the team with 71 tackles.
“It means a lot to have him back with us,” safety Johnathan Cyprien said. “He’s a very passionate guy that you love to play with, making plays and celebrating with him. I think he’ll be ready and he’ll be fine Sunday.”
Subscribe to The Spokesman-Review’s sports newsletter
Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.