Oct. 17 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Chargers offensive tackle Russell Okung returned to the practice field Thursday and could suit up for the team's matchup against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday.
Okung, who suffered a pulmonary embolism caused by blood clots over the summer, released a statement Thursday that said he could return as early as this week. He had been on the non-football injury list for the first six weeks of the regular season.
"I've been looking forward to this day for several weeks and I'm excited to officially announce that I will be back to football as early as Week 7," Okung said in a statement. "Being sidelined after suffering a pulmonary embolism earlier this year has been an intense battle that I'm thankful to put behind me.
"I want to thank J.I. Halsell who helped me navigate this unique scenario with the Chargers front office. Big thanks as always to the fans who have responded to my health status with care and compassion, looking forward to being back in action!"
Okung said he experienced shortness of breath on June 1, and his wife, Samar, encouraged the offensive lineman to seek medical help.
"I definitely looked death right in the face," Okung told reporters. "Had it not been for a family that cared about my well being and took the extra steps to make sure that I got checked on, despite my own resistance to them, I may not be here right now. So I'm grateful for people that love me and care about me."
With his return to practice, the Chargers have a 21-day window to decide whether to promote Okung to the active roster or place him on the reserve list for the remainder of the season.
Second-year pro Trent Scott has started at left tackle in Okung's absence.