Offense struggles again for Jaguars in loss to Eagles

Jacksonville scores in Week 2 of preseason, but holes remain

Jacksonville's Quenton Meeks tackles Philadelphia's Mack Hollins during Thursday's preseason game. (George Varkanis, For News4Jax)
Jacksonville's Quenton Meeks tackles Philadelphia's Mack Hollins during Thursday's preseason game. (George Varkanis, For News4Jax)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Cody Kessler's return to Jacksonville lasted seven plays and ended with a slow walk to the visitors' locker room.

Philadelphia's third-string quarterback was knocked out of the team's 24-10 preseason victory against the Jaguars on the opening drive Thursday night. Defensive end Datone Jones came unblocked off the edge and walloped Kessler in the back.

Kessler was escorted to the sideline, evaluated for a head injury in the locker room and then placed in the concussion protocol. The team already was without backup Nate Sudfeld, who broke his left wrist in the team's preseason opener against Tennessee. Starter Carson Wentz rested for the second straight game. He watched from the sideline in uniform, but without pads and a helmet.

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Rookie Clayton Thorson, the only other QB on the roster, played three-plus quarters and completed a 38-yard touchdown pass to former college quarterback and Alliance of American Football receiver Greg Ward on fourth down in the second quarter.

Thorson completed 16 of 26 passes for 175 yards, with a touchdown and an interception that led to a late score.

Neither team played many starters.

The Eagles (1-1) rested tight end Zach Ertz, defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, running back Darren Sproles, center Jason Kelce, receivers DeSean Jackson and Nelson Agholor and others.

The Jaguars (0-2) sat 31 guys, including quarterback Nick Foles, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, running back Leonard Fournette, linebacker Myles Jack and defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell.

Rookie Gardner Minshew started in place of Foles for the second straight week and looked better than his debut in Baltimore. Minshew, who threw for 46 yards in a 29-0 loss to the Ravens, completed 19 of 29 passes for 202 yards. He tightened his grip on the backup job.

IMAGES: Jaguars 2019 preseason opener in photos

Here are some other things to know about the exhibition game:


Foles and Kessler were among a handful of players facing their former team.

Foles and Wentz shared a hug near midfield during warmups. Kessler, who started four games for Jacksonville in 2018, exchanged pleasantries with several ex-teammates.

Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson, who spent the last three years with the Jaguars, chatted with Campbell and Fournette during halftime.


Jacksonville scored for the first time in the preseason on Josh Lambo's 36-yard field goal just before halftime. The Jags squandered a good chance earlier in the quarter when Michael Walker let a deep pass slip through his hands-on second down and then Minshew was sacked and fumbled on the next play.


Jaguars running back Alfred Blue left the game in the first half with a left ankle injury and did not return.


Eagles host Baltimore next Thursday. Wentz isn't expected to play.

Jaguars play at Miami, and coach Doug Marrone said at least some starters will play for the first time in the preseason.