Jacksonville Jaguars: 2013 NFL injury wire

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars are now down two starters in the secondary after safety Dwight Lowery was ruled out of Sunday’s game with Indianapolis because of a concussion.

Lowery suffered the injury early in the Jaguars’ 45-17 loss to Seattle last Sunday. He was replaced by rookie Josh Evans, the team’s sixth-round draft pick, and Evans will start in Lowery’s place. The Jaguars are already without starting cornerback Dwayne Gratz because of a high ankle sprain.

There is some good news for the struggling offense because tight end Marcedes Lewis is set to make his season debut on Sunday. He’s a reliable, familiar target for quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who was announced as the starter on Monday after he missed the past two games because of a cut on his right hand.

Lewis will need to have an impact in the passing game because the Jaguars (0-3) will be without receivers Stephen Burton (concussion-like symptoms) and Mike Brown (back). Justin Blackmon is also serving the final game of his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse program.

The Colts (2-1) will be without running back Ahmad Bradshaw (neck), defensive end Ricky Jean-Francois (groin) and safety LaRon Landry (ankle).
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars definitely won’t have starting quarterback Blaine Gabbert and tight end Marcedes Lewis for Sunday’s game at Seattle, but whether running back Maurice Jones-Drew will play is still uncertain.

Jones-Drew was listed as questionable on the Friday injury report because of the tendon strain in his left ankle, but he did have limited participation in practice. If his ankle responds favorably on Saturday and Sunday morning, then he should be on the field against the Seahawks.

"It’s a little swollen -- first time cutting [was today] -- but nothing you can’t play through," Jones-Drew said. "Obviously coach wants me to be as close to 100 percent as possible, so that’s what I’m working towards right now and we’ll see how things go."

Jones-Drew suffered the injury late in the first half of the Jaguars’ 19-9 loss to Oakland. He was tackled up high by Raiders safety Charles Woodson and his left foot got caught in the turf and twisted. He did not practice on Wednesday or Thursday because he still had swelling.

"They [teammates] were uplifted by the way he worked out today," Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said.

Lewis has yet to play this season after aggravating a previous injury to his left calf during practice on Sept. 5. He first suffered the injury during pregame warm-ups for the Jaguars’ preseason game against the New York Jets on Aug. 17. Lewis did some running on Tuesday, but Bradley said Lewis’ calf still doesn’t feel right.

"He worked out and it’s much better than it has been, but he still felt it a little bit," Bradley said. "For us, to have him come back after what happened last time, we decided we’re just going to hold him out."

Lewis had missed only three games in his first seven years.

Gabbert (lacerated hand) was officially ruled out on Friday, but Bradley said on Monday that it was highly unlikely that he would be able to play against Seattle. Gabbert had some of the 15 stitches in the back of his hand removed this week and has gradually increased his throwing.

In addition, receiver Mike Brown (back) is also out while guard Uche Nwaneri (knee) and cornerback Alan Ball (groin) are questionable. Bradley said Ball’s playing status depends on how he fares in pregame warm-ups.
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert did some light throwing on the side Wednesday for the first time since he severely cut his hand in the season opener, but coach Gus Bradley reiterated that it’s highly unlikely that Gabbert could play in Sunday’s game against Seattle.

Gabbert
Gabbert
Chad Henne and Ricky Stanzi continue to split reps with the first team, and Henne is on schedule to start.

"It’d be a stretch [for Gabbert to play]," Bradley said "We took out some of the stitches. He came out here and threw real light just to see. We’re going to have him do some agility-type drills and maybe just throw on the side, but no competition-type things."

An updated injury report, and it’s a pretty long list:

Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (ankle), tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf), receiver Mike Brown (back) and cornerback Alan Ball (groin) did not practice on Wednesday.

Guard Uche Nwaneri (knee), receiver Stephen Burton (hip), receiver Ace Sanders (ribs), linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee) and guard Will Rackley (knee) were limited.

Center Brad Meester and defensive end Jason Babin were given the day off.

Bradley said Lewis did some running on Tuesday, but he had his left calf wrapped when he walked to the practice field at San Jose State University. Lewis hasn’t practiced since he aggravated a previous calf injury during practice on Sept. 5. Bradley said Lewis was going to participate in more aggressive drills on Wednesday.

"He worked out, and he still felt a little bit," Bradley said. "I think with Marcedes it’s just a feel that he had it [a calf injury in the preseason], and then he came back and re-strained it and now it feels good again, so it’s just developing confidence in it."

Lewis missed only three games in his previous seven seasons but has missed two already in 2013.

Jacksonville injury report

September, 13, 2013
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A quick injury update from Jacksonville Jaguars coach Gus Bradley before the team leaves for Oakland on Friday afternoon ...

Tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf) is doubtful, while receiver Mike Brown (back), guard Will Rackley (knee), linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring), and cornerback Alan Ball (groin) will be game-time decisions.

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert (hand) and cornerback Dwayne Gratz (ankle) were ruled out earlier in the week.

The fallout: If Ball is unable to play, the Jaguars would be without both starting cornerbacks. Will Blackmon, whom the Jaguars signed on Aug. 28, is already starting in place of Gratz. Seventh-round pick Demetrius McCray and second-year player Mike Harris are the only other cornerbacks on the active roster. The Jaguars most likely will promote Marcus Burley from the practice squad.

If Brown is unable to play, expect to see more of Stephen Burton, whom the Jaguars claimed off waivers on Sept. 1. The team also could promote Jeremy Ebert from the practice squad.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Denard Robinson's production certainly didn’t match the buildup for the player the Jaguars listed as an “offensive weapon.”

Robinson
He had two carries for 1 yard in the Jaguars’ season-opening loss to Kansas City.

The reason, offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch said, has nothing to do with Robinson’s work in practice. Robinson wasn’t involved as much because the offense was so stagnant that Fisch didn’t want to try the wildcat formation until the Jaguars at least began moving the ball with some consistency.

That didn’t materialize in the first quarter (12 yards on five possessions), so Fisch did try the wildcat early in the second quarter. Robinson gained 1 yard.

"When you’re trying to find a rhythm you don’t want to be searching for something," Fisch said. "I think Maurice Jones-Drew had 15 carries for 45 yards or so. I would have preferred to call one more handoff to Maurice if we got ahead of the chains at all, rather than say let’s try a wildcat gimmick play.

"If we can get the chains moving and get a couple first downs now there’s a place for some more of the creativity."

Getting the chains moving may still be a pretty tough chore considering five key offensive players -- not including quarterback Blaine Gabbert, who has already been ruled out for Sunday’s game at Oakland -- are battling injuries. Tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf), receivers Mike Brown (back) and Cecil Shorts (groin), and guards Uche Nwaneri (knee) and Will Rackley (knee) were all limited in practice on Thursday.

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said it may take until Sunday morning before he’ll know if Lewis and Brown are able to play.

With Brown and Shorts ailing and Justin Blackmon serving a four-game suspension, the Jaguars have just two healthy available receivers: rookie fourth-round pick Ace Sanders and Stephen Burton, whom the team claimed off waivers on Sept. 1. The Jaguars have two receivers on the practice squad -- first-year player Jeremy Ebert and rookie Tobais Palmer -- so they could promote one if Brown is unable to play.

Robinson, who holds the NCAA record for most rushing yards by a quarterback in a career (4,495 yards) and in a single-season (1,702), was drafted with the thought that he could play running back and receiver. However, he has had issues with his hands and spent extra time during training camp working with Shorts and coaches to try and improve.

His second carry last Sunday came as a running back, which is where he’ll likely see the bulk of his playing time. The wildcat formation will make an appearance, but only if the offense is able to generate some kind of rhythm.

"When your down and distance gets skewed so does your play call and so does the balance that you’re looking for," Fisch said.

Jaguars dealing with minor injuries

September, 11, 2013
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It’s only the second week of the season but the Jacksonville Jaguars are already pretty banged up on offense, even if only one of the players is in jeopardy of missing Sunday's game at Oakland.

Tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf) and left guard Will Rackley (knee) did not practice on Wednesday, and right guard Uche Nwaneri (knee), receiver Mike Brown (back), receiver Cecil Shorts (groin) and running back Jordan Todman (shoulder) were limited. That’s all in addition to quarterback Blaine Gabbert (hand) and cornerback Dwayne Gratz (high ankle sprain) already being ruled out against the Raiders earlier in the week.

Coach Gus Bradley said that, of the players who either didn't practice or were limited Wednesday, only Lewis might not be able to play against the Raiders. Lewis will be re-evaluated on Thursday.

Lewis said his left calf, which he originally injured during pregame warm-ups on Aug. 17 and reinjured on Sept. 4, has improved and is no longer tender to the touch. He ran on Wednesday for the first time since he suffered the original injury.

"There’s not much I can really say about it now," Lewis said. "Just take it one day at a time and if by then I’m ready, I’m ready to go. If not, we’ll continue to stay on the same path. That’s all I can do."

In addition, safety Mike Harris missed practice for personal reasons and defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee) was limited. Center Brad Meester, running back Maurice Jones-Drew and defensive end Jason Babin were given the day off.

It’s the same story for the Jaguars and quarterback Blaine Gabbert.

He continues to progress as he tries to return from a fractured right thumb and do more and more in practice each day, but coach Gus Bradley said the final decision on whether Gabbert will start against Kansas City on Sunday likely won’t be made until just before kickoff.

"It feels good," Gabbert said Friday afternoon. "It’s a day-to-day thing and we’re still evaluating it, but I did more today. Had kind of a greater workload, and it felt great."

Gabbert said he still has some pain but has not had issues gripping the football. He also said the next 48 hours will be critical because he won't do as much throwing other than during the walkthrough on Saturday. That will give him time to rest his thumb.

"It’s just one of those deals," he said. "I really can’t tell my bone to grow any faster than it is right now, so we’ll see how it is tomorrow morning."
The Jaguars are now dealing with another player who may not be available for Sunday’s season opener.

Tight end Marcedes Lewis missed practice on Thursday, one day after reinjuring his left calf -- an injury he suffered in pregame warmups against the New York Jets on Aug. 17. That means coach Gus Bradley isn’t sure if he’s going to have his starting quarterback and tight end against Kansas City.

Lewis
"We’ll continue to evaluate [Lewis], see where he’s at," Bradley said. "I know that he was riding the bike and going through some of the rehab things for his calf with [head athletic trainer] Mike [Ryan]."

Bradley said the plan is to be cautious with Lewis, who is coming off a 52-catch season, to keep the injury from becoming a long-term issue. Lewis will be re-evaluated on Friday.

"We don’t want to put him in there and have this continue to be another three weeks," Bradley said.

Lewis has been limited in practice since he suffered the original injury. If he can’t play, the Jaguars will have to rely on Allen Reisner, who signed with Minnesota as an undrafted free agent out of Iowa and spent 2011 and most of the 2012 season on the Vikings’ practice squad, and two tight ends they claimed off waivers on Saturday.

Clay Harbor spent the past three seasons with Philadelphia and caught 47 passes for 421 yards and four touchdowns. D.J. Williams played in 26 games over the past two seasons with Green Bay and has nine receptions for 70 yards.

Bradley said he’s still unsure if Gabbert will be able to play against the Chiefs, but he is pleased with the progress Gabbert has made from the fractured right thumb he suffered against the Jets. Bradley said Gabbert was limited in practice on Thursday but took more reps than he did on Wednesday.

"If it was a situation where we felt like Blaine couldn’t make the throws we want him to make then the decision would be made right now," Bradley said. "But right now we’re seeing him make some of the throws. We’re seeing him do a lot of things we’re asking him to do. Now, we’ll go through it one more time tomorrow and finalize it."

Chad Henne and Ricky Stanzi got extra reps just in case, Bradley said.

Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert continues to progress in his return from a fractured right thumb, but head coach Gus Bradley said a decision on whether Gabbert will start in the season opener against Kansas City could drag into Sunday.

Gabbert was limited in practice on Wednesday, but did take some team reps. Bradley said the next step will be to see how Gabbert’s thumb responds over the next few days before he would make a decision on whether he will play against the Chiefs.

"It very easily could [drag into Sunday]," Bradley said. "We’ve got some decisions to make. I know he feels better every day so I think we’re going to have to get as much time as we can to evaluate this."

Gabbert suffered his injury in the second preseason game on Aug. 17 and returned to practice for the first time on Monday. Bradley said Gabbert was up-and-down on Wednesday.

"At times he looked good and at times he looked like he had an injury," Bradley said on a conference call with Kansas City media.

Gabbert said earlier Wednesday he felt like he was on track with his rehab but wasn’t focusing on whether he’ll be ready in time for Sunday.

"It feels better and better each day," he said. "It’s just kind of a funny deal that we’ve got to stay on it, stay on top of it, manage it, but it’s going to improve day by day."

If Gabbert doesn’t improve enough then the Jaguars will start Chad Henne, who started the final six games of last season and threw for 1,990 yards and 11 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. That would make Ricky Stanzi, whom the Jaguars were awarded off waivers last week from Kansas City, the backup.

"Guys have to step up," Bradley said. "We’ll got out there and watch him and based on how he’s throwing -- we’re not going to put the team in jeopardy just to say he’s starting. Both of them are getting quite a few reps. Stanzi’s getting some reps so we’re preparing for all options."

The Jaguars wouldn’t really lose much if Henne has to start instead of Gabbert. Gabbert started the first 10 games of the 2012 and suffered a forearm injury after throwing just two passes in the 10th game. In the other nine games the Jaguars averaged 263.6 yards per game, 185.3 passing yards per game, and 14.1 points per game.

Henne started the final six, during which the Jaguars averaged 326.3 yards per game, 233.3 passing yards per game, and 15.3 points per game.
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It appears Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert is on pace to start Sunday’s season opener against Kansas City.

Gabbert suffered a hairline fracture of his right thumb in the Jaguars’ third preseason game on Aug. 24 and had not practiced since. He was nearly a full participant in individual drills on Monday. He did not take snaps under center or in the shotgun but did throw. He was wearing a small wrap on his hand.

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said last week that Gabbert was to begin gripping a football late in the week and start throwing over the weekend. Bradley is scheduled to speak to the media at 12:50 p.m. and will provide an official update.

Two other starters -- guard Will Rackley (ankle) and defensive end Jeremy Mincey (allergic reaction) -- did not practice. Running back Justin Forsett, who hasn't practiced since a toe injury during the first live period of training camp, was back on the field and practicing.

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