We’ve all been waiting to see the old Jay Alford, the one who was a disruptive force on the defensive line last summer before tearing his ACL and missing the year recovering from surgery. Heck, even Alford said he was waiting for that too.

We caught the first glimpse of it earlier this week. But did it cause him to have to sit out of today’s practice? Maybe.

“I had a real good practice on Monday, I finally decided to open it up a little bit just to get my confidence back,” Alford said. “I lost my confidence for a little bit and I wasn’t really playing how I wanted to play. But Monday I did and it felt good. So I think I’m back to normal.”

But then today he’s on the sideline. Did “opening it up” lead to that?

“It wasn’t just Monday because we’ve been practicing day after day with no days off,” Alford said. “It was just a fatigue factor that just set in. It happens.”

It might continue to happen as he comes back from the surgery. There will be days where he needs to rest it.

“It does get sore every once in a while,” he said. “You just have to learn to fight through it because every day is not going to be the greatest.”

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Coughlin agreed that Monday’s efforts did not necessarily lead to this day of rest.

“I think it’s just a natural thing that happens with a guy because he goes through getting himself back, feeling confident, being on it a lot and developing some soreness,” Coughlin said. “Sometimes there’s a little bit of swelling. It’s just a battle for these guys to get back from surgery.”

Coughlin said he thought Alford would have to rest on Wednesday, but he was impressed that he didn’t. They rested him today because the team felt it would be better “in terms of our closeness and our proximity to the game.” Alford said he expects to play against the Ravens on Saturday.

As for his assertion that he went all in on Monday, Alford said that doesn’t mean he was holding back during the rest of the preseason. At least not consciously.

“I wasn’t playing where I thought I could play at,” he said. “I thought it was the knee. But it came Monday I was like ‘You know what, I’m just going to see what happens.’ And it felt good. I’m happy with it.”