"Two weeks ago, we talked about needing an open date and that we were looking forward to it," Phillips said. "Now, after the two weeks, we are ready to play and we are looking forward to playing. We need to get back out on the field and we are looking forward to Saturday.
"We will see if we are ready to play, but we are anxious to play and get back on the field in front of our fans, who we have been away from the past few weeks. We are anxious to get out there."
Phillips said after practice Thursday that the team's goal during the bye week has been to improve each day.
"We feel like we have gotten better," Phillips said. "We have put a lot of emphasis in special teams' areas and put a lot of emphasis on throwing and catching. We hope to see those things show up."
Phillips noted the continued progress of junior defensive end Collins Ukwu, who has missed the last three games because of injury. Phillips said Ukwu went through more reps in practice Thursday, including team drills.
"It is not a question, he definitely will play," Phillips said about Ukwu. "He got even more reps today in a team setting. Yesterday was more individual, today was more in a team setting. He is available. Will he play? I am not for sure or that, yet, but he is available to play."