JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Jaguars are set to take the field for their first preseason game on Thursday night. Tuesday’s practice was a glorified walkthrough.
The big news from the day was the absence of Travis Etienne, who missed the practice with an “illness.” Before practice, Doug Pederson disclosed that Etienne would not play in Thursday’s preseason game against the Raiders in Canton, Ohio.
Pederson also said that Trevor Lawrence and CJ Beathard would not play. Jake Luton will make the start at QB. While Pederson offered clarification for those three players, he did leave it up in the air that some starters will play. I’d expect to see the majority of the rookie class get extensive playing time.
Who will have the most playing time?
On offense, I expect Luton to play the most snaps of anyone as the team will try to get a good look at if he can be their QB3.
On defense, it is a little bit more difficult but my belief is that Junior will get some extensive playing time. The rookie has struggled at times during camp. If I was making cuts right now, he would be on the outside looking in.
Players to watch
The rookie running back has had back-to-back strong practices. Doug Pederson said before Tuesday’s practice that he wanted to see Conner start to stack up those good days. He has shown some good vision and should be in line for a heavy workload Thursday night.
A year ago, Cotton had a strong preseason game against the Cowboys. Fast forward to now and Cotton is firmly in the thick of the battle at receiver. He has made some nice plays during practice and shown some explosive ability.
I am firmly on the Winningham hype train. He has made plays day in and day out on the practice field. If he can have a similar impact during in-game action, Winningham should see himself moving up the depth chart.
Another undrafted free agent who has shown up early in camp is Franklin. Every day it feels like Franklin finds a way to make a play in practice. Franklin told me he ran a 4.31 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day so he has got some serious speed to work with. Franklin said he is excited for Thursday night since it will be his first NFL game. “I’m definitely getting butterflies,” said Franklin.
This is another young defensive player who has shown up in camp. The Jaguars are thin at outside linebacker after Walker and Allen. The Norfolk State product has shown some potential making pays during 1 on 1 and team periods that make him worth monitoring during the game.
- Jawaan Taylor missed practice again.
- Laviska Shenault is back at practice. Shenault sat out Monday’s practice but was back on the field with a sleeve on his left leg.
- James Robinson and Jamal Agnew should be back “soon,” according to Pederson.
- CJ Beathard back competing during team periods for the first time this camp. He looked a bit rusty but that is expected.
- Andrew Wingard with the play of the day. It was an interception off a pass from Beathard that Wingard took the other direction for a pick 6. Wingard has been running with the second team defense.
- Kickers have a good day. It has been a rough start to camp for the kickers. On Tuesday, Ryan Santoso and Elliott Fry both went 4 for 4 on kicks, with the longest kick coming from around 52 yards out. During warmups, they both missed kicks but once practice started and the pressure was on, the kicks were right down the middle.
- Luke Fortner had a rough Monday of practice. Pederson had a vote of confidence for the rookie Tuesday, saying “this guy is unbelievable. I really like where he is at mentally. His thing he just has to process it and slow the game down.” Fortner is firmly entrenched as the team’s starting center.
- The QB sneak is in the playbook! Last season, it was weeks into the regular season when the coaching staff said they didn’t have a game-ready QB sneak. I asked Press Taylor about the QB sneak early in camp he said “wait and see.” Well, during the walkthrough, the team practiced a QB sneak. This says more about last year’s team than anything else.