Mixed injury report for Jaguars vs. Colts
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – It's a mix of good and not so good news for the Jaguars this week when it comes to who's available and who's not. Andre Branch will see his first action of the year since his injury in training camp. Luke Joeckel and Johnathan Cyprien will both be back on the field as well. Zane Beadles, Chris Clemons, Josh Evans, Davon House, Allen Hurns, Roy Miller and Tyler Shatley are all listed as probable with various bumps and bruises. House and Evans are probably game time decisions since their practice time was limited on Friday. Sergio Brown is also listed as doubtful since he didn't practice all week because of a calf injury.
After not practicing all week as well, Marqise Lee has been declared out of the game against the Colts. His injury is officially listed as a hamstring problem but he continues to fight a balky knee.
"We're getting our heads together and trying to figure out a way and what's best for him," Bradley noted addressing Lee's continued leg problems during his career. "It's a matter of how do we get him back to where he's healthy for long periods of time? That's kind of the discussion now."
Perhaps the Jaguars best offensive lineman, Brandon Linder, won't play Sunday because of a shoulder problem. Either Tyler Shatley or A.J. Cann will start at right guard.
Denard Robinson is out again this week and although they say they're making progress, Sen'Derrick Marks and Julius Thomas won't play against the Colts.
If you play the "what if" game in the NFL, which you're not supposed to do, the Jaguars are playing without their best defensive player (Marks), their prized free-agent signing (Thomas) and their number one draft pick (Dante Fowler). Add to that the corner they signed to hopefully play man on the opposition's best receiver (House) and the wide receiver they expect to stretch the field (Lee) and you have a roster that looks pretty depleted.
But Head Coach Gus Bradley was more interested in looking at the players returning than the ones that won't play. He stressed that Branch's return gives them more flexibility on defense.
"I think it's good because we get another rusher on the field, that's good, and then also just to keep guys fresh rotation-wise and especially so those guys on third down can really get going. He looks pretty good in practice so I don't know if we'll get to an exact count (of plays for Branch). I think you'll see how those guys roll a little bit."
Even though Sam Young did a credible job at left tackle during Joeckel's time rehabbing his ankle, Bradley thinks Joeckel brings some continuity to the offense and some other skills Young doesn't have.
"I think versus the run I think as far as pass and run Joeckel gives us that. I think his stability and what he brings to that offensive line group, again continuity is important and they practiced with him in there all during training camp and to get him back is a good sign."
For the first time this week, Bradley gave some thoughts on being criticized as the head coach when the team isn't successful. With just eight wins in his two-plus seasons as the Jaguars leader, Bradley has been given a pass by most fans (and media) since the team was in an obvious "building" mode. But this week, after the blowout loss to New England, Bradley was in the middle of the "what's wrong" discussion.
"I think with this job criticism comes," Gus said this week. "I think that you just know that and the fans are passionate. I think there's an obligation to be truthful and upfront and say, ‘here's what took place, here's what I can tell you,' and be very open and honest with them. With that criticism can follow but that comes with the job. I understand it. I take it as a sign that we have passionate fans and we tell them to come along this journey with us and be a part of it. When you're a part of it there's challenges and that's okay. I'm good with that."
We'll continue this discussion on "Jaguars Friday Night" at 11:20 and tomorrow on the "Gus Bradley Show" starting at 10:30pm on Channel 4.
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