JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It’s been more than nine months since Kelvin Beachum has participated in a practice or game with his teammates, which is why he was in a good mood in the Jacksonville Jaguars locker room after the team’s first practice of training camp on Thursday.
Beachum lined up alongside teammates for the first time since he suffered a torn left ACL on Oct. 18 with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He had only worked on the side during organized team activities and minicamp.
"It was very exciting," Beachum said. "I felt like a kid going to practice for the first time. It’s been a long time, so to be able to go back out was very exciting. A little rusty, but exciting."
Beachum was held out of team drills, but coach Gus Bradley said Beachum could take team reps Friday. If that’s the case, that will be the official start of the competition with Luke Joeckel for the starting job at left tackle.
"We’ll go in there and evaluate it and see how he did and keep adding more and more," Bradley said. "Hopefully sometime in the next few days, he’ll get out there and get him some team work."
The Jaguars signed Beachum to a one-year contract, which includes a four-year option that the team can exercise on the 22nd day before the beginning of the 2017 league year in March. They brought him in from Pittsburgh to compete with Joeckel, and the loser of the battle is expected to be the left guard.
Joeckel took all the reps with the first team during team drills on Thursday, but Bradley said the two will rotate at guard and tackle once Beachum is completely cleared.
"At the end of the day, I desire to play left tackle and that’s what I have been saying since I got here," said Beachum, who started 39 games for Pittsburgh in the last four seasons. "I understand that team success is a prerequisite to individual success, so I will do what is best for the team right now. As things start to get rolling, the competition will be here."