Injured Jags on track for OTAs

January, 22, 2014
Jan 22
11:00
AM ET
MOBILE, Ala. -- The Jaguars should be nearly completely healthy by the time OTAs begin in late April.

Coach Gus Bradley said offensive tackle Luke Joeckel (ankle), receiver Cecil Shorts (sports hernia), defensive tackle Roy Miller (shoulder), linebacker Geno Hayes (knee), running back Justin Forsett (foot), guard/center Mike Brewster (ankle) and defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick (elbow) are progressing in their rehab and are on pace to return to the field when OTAs start on April 21.

"Luke Joeckel, I just saw him right before he left and he was walking around doing pretty good," Bradley said. "He’s working his tail off. Those guys are really going at it, so it’s great."

Joeckel said he’s eager to get back on the field because he got very little experience at left tackle before suffering a fractured bone in his ankle against St. Louis in Week 5. He had played right tackle the first four games before being switched to the other side – his natural position – after the Jaguars traded Eugene Monroe to Baltimore.

"I’m going to be excited about next year and hopefully being a left tackle again," Joeckel said. "I’m excited about being in my position and becoming better at that and blocking the guys I’m going to be blocking."

Joeckel did a solid job in the short time in which he was a left tackle. He didn't allow Robert Quinn, who finished with 19 sacks, or Chris Long to pressure quarterback Blaine Gabbert. That's a good start, but he'll essentially be a rookie again in 2014 since he spent so little time at left tackle. He'll be ahead of where he was physically, especially after a full offseason in an NFL weight program, but he'll still have to prove he can be a foundation piece on the offensive line.

Mike DiRocco | email

ESPN Jacksonville Jaguars reporter

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