Jacksonville Jaguars: Abry Jones
Stephen Morris is a practice squad candidate.
RUNNING BACKS (5)
If the Jags elect to keep only four backs, Todman and Johnson likely would battle for the final spot. That is assuming Robinson continues to be very good in camp. He might end up getting more playing time than any of the other backs after Gerhart if he shows he can be a reliable pass-catcher. Johnson has to prove he can pass block and doesn’t have problems with ball security.
The first four players should be locks, but it will be an interesting competition for the final two spots among Brown, Taylor, free-agent signee Tandon Doss, undrafted rookie Allen Hurns, and former practice-squad player Chad Bumphis. Doss missed most of the organized team activities and minicamp because of a calf injury, allowing Taylor, Bumphis and Hurns to get valuable reps. Doss was not a consistent receiver in his three seasons in Baltimore and has more value as a returner, but Sanders’ strength is as a punt returner and the Jags have other options at kickoff returner. I have Taylor narrowly beating out Hurns because of his experience, but I can easily see that being flipped if the Jags want to add more size. Hurns is 6-foot-3; Taylor is 6-0.
TIGHT ENDS (3)
Jensen flashed during OTAs and gets the edge over three other players. He’s a big kid (6-6, 270) who is a raw version of Lewis, one of the league’s best blocking tight ends. Jensen will need a year or two to develop and likely will be used as an extra blocker more than a pass-catcher.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (8)
- Luke Joeckel
- Zane Beadles
- Mike Brewster
- Jacques McClendon
- Austin Pasztor
- Cameron Bradfield
- Brandon Linder
- Luke Bowanko
Some of the battles for starting jobs along the line are going to be intriguing during camp. Joeckel and Beadles are safe, but every other spot is up for grabs. Even Pasztor, who started 12 games last season, is uncertain because we don’t know how his surgically repaired shoulder will hold up during camp. If it’s fine, then he will win the starting job at right tackle. McClendon and Linder are battling for the right guard spot, and Brewster is going to have to hold off Bowanko and two others to be the starter at center. Bradfield has value because he can play both tackle spots.
DEFENSIVE LINE (10)
- Chris Clemons
- Sen'Derrick Marks
- Roy Miller
- Red Bryant
- Andre Branch
- Ziggy Hood
- Abry Jones
- Tyson Alualu
- Chris Smith
- Ryan Davis
This should be the biggest upgraded position on the roster thanks to the additions of Clemons, Bryant and Hood. Despite public perception, Alualu isn’t on the bubble for two reasons: He played solidly last season, and there really isn’t anyone else on the roster as talented as he is to back up Bryant. The Jags are excited about Smith, who could end up playing more than Davis as the No. 3 LEO (hybrid end/linebacker) by the time the season is over.
Either John Lotulelei or J.T. Thomas, two key special teams players last season, could stick if the Jaguars decide to keep an extra linebacker instead of five cornerbacks, or if Hayes’ surgically repaired knee doesn’t respond well. Reynolds did a solid job subbing for Watson (groin) during OTAs and minicamp at the new OTTO position (replaces strongside linebacker).
The Jags will have to decide whether to keep fourth-year player Mike Harris or Jeremy Harris, a seventh-round pick in 2013 who spent his rookie season on injured reserve with a back injury. The 6-2, 185-pound Jeremy Harris is a better fit for what coach Gus Bradley wants in his cornerbacks than the 5-10, 188-pound Mike Harris, who was a member of former GM Gene Smith’s final draft class. Blackmon has been working inside as well, which also makes Mike Harris expendable. Fourth-round draft pick Aaron Colvin will begin the season on the PUP list and doesn't count against the roster limit.
Chris Prosinski has seemingly been a bubble player since he was drafted in the fourth round in 2011, but there is too much competition for him to survive this time. Martin started 36 games for Carolina in his first five seasons, and that experience gives him the edge. Evans seems to be the name everyone mentions when talking about the first Caldwell draft pick to get cut, but though he might lose his starting job to Guy, he’s likely to stick around at least another year.
These guys should have little or no competition to make the roster.
@ESPNdirocco: If Aaron Colvin's torn ACL wasn't landing him on the PUP list to begin the season then I think Jeremy Harris wouldn't make the roster. But with Colvin unavailable, it opens a spot on the roster and Jeremy Harris and Mike Harris will battle for it. Mike Harris is a Gene Smith pick and really doesn't fit the bigger physical profile that coach Gus Bradley wants in his cornerbacks. Jeremy Harris missed his rookie season with a back injury but got a lot of work during organized team activities and minicamp along with fellow 2013 seventh-round pick Demetrius McCray. I think he makes it over Mike Harris.
@ESPNdirocco: It could happen before the season starts, but I think a more reasonable time frame would be sometime in the first half of the season. There have been preliminary discussions, and the Jaguars do want to have Cecil Shorts around long term, but how quickly the deal gets done depends on what Shorts believes he's worth. I agree with the Florida Times-Union's Ryan O'Halloran that a general starting point would be the three-year, $13 million ($8.5 million guaranteed) deal Seattle gave Doug Baldwin, which is a little more than $4 million per year. Things might get delayed if Shorts wants No. 1 receiver money. He is the Jaguars' top receiver, but he's not a No. 1 receiver by NFL standards.
@ESPNdirocco How many D lineman do you think will have more than 5 sacks on the squad this year?— Jeremy Smith (@snivlem77) June 26, 2014
@ESPNdirocco: I think we can eliminate Red Bryant, Roy Miller, Tyson Alualu, Abry Jones, Chris Smith and Ryan Davis. Bryant being on that list might be a surprise to some, but remember, the end spot he plays doesn't produce a lot of sacks. Besides, Bryant has just 3.5 sacks in his six-year career. Chris Clemons and Andre Branch are a definite, and I think Sen'Derrick Marks hits that mark, too. He had four last season despite playing way too many snaps. The addition of Ziggy Hood will cut Marks' reps down and he will theoretically be fresher and even more productive. Hood is intriguing because the Jags signed him to play inside, which is where he played at Missouri. The Steelers had him playing end in his first five seasons.
@ESPNdirocco: They still live in the Jacksonville area.
@ESPNdirocco: I'll give you one definite thing to be excited about and one potential thing that could really energize Jaguars fans. The defensive line is much better, especially when it comes to rushing the passer. The Jaguars finished last in the NFL in sacks in each of the past two seasons, but the addition of Clemons and Dekoda Watson (who will play the new OTTO position) and the continued development of Andre Branch should result in more pressure on the quarterback. Adding Bryant and Hood will help in run defense, too. As for the potential excitement, how about Denard Robinson? He dropped just one pass in nine OTAs and a three-day minicamp. If he is indeed able to be used in the passing game, the Jaguars will have a dynamic edge playmaker.
@ESPNdirocco: Because he has earned it. He's a good special teams player and he was solid enough as a safety to warrant making the team for the past three seasons. That being said, I think his spot is in jeopardy this year. The Jaguars brought in several undrafted safeties, including Craig Loston and Jerome Junior, and signed Sherrod Martin, who started 36 games for Carolina from 2009-12. Chris Prosinski needs to have a very good camp to make the team..
But this is the first look at the 2014 Jaguars. They’ll look a lot different after next month’s draft, but here’s an early look at the offensive depth chart. The offensive depth chart appeared Monday:
Starters: LDE Red Bryant, DT Roy Miller, DT Sen'Derrick Marks, LEO Chris Clemons.
Reserves: DE Tyson Alualu, DE Ryan Davis, DT Ziggy Hood, DT Abry Jones, DT Jordan Miller, DT Drake Nevis, LEO Jason Babin, LEO Andre Branch, LEO Gerald Rivers.
The defensive line got a serious upgrade in free agency with the additions of Bryant, Clemons and Hood, who also can play end. It needed it, especially against the run (29th in the NFL last season). Bryant will be a big help there because he plays the end spot that’s main responsibility is setting the edge and stopping the run. The pass rush is better, too, though both Clemons and Babin are in their 30s and the team will likely draft a pass-rusher -- possibly Jadeveon Clowney or Khalil Mack in the first round -- at some point in the draft. The depth at tackle needs to be addressed, too.
Starters: WLB Geno Hayes, MLB Paul Posluszny, SLB Dekoda Watson.
Reserves: OLB John Lotulelei. OLB LaRoy Reynolds, MLB Nate Stupar, OLB J.T. Thomas.
The signing of Watson didn’t get much attention outside of Jacksonville but it could turn out to be one the team’s best acquisitions of the offseason. He’s going to play strongside linebacker on first and second down and then move to leo on third down to give the Jaguars a chance to get four pass-rushers on the field at one time. Posluszny is a tackling machine and Hayes should be better in 2014 after playing through a knee injury in 2013 and undergoing offseason surgery. The backups were big special-teams contributors.
Starters: LCB Dwayne Gratz, RCB Alan Ball.
Reserves: Will Blackmon, Mike Harris, Jamell Fleming, Jeremy Harris, Demetrius McCray.
Re-signing Blackmon was a good move because he can play either spot as a fill-in starter and also play a nickelback. Plus, he and Ball -- one of the team’s top free-agent signings last year -- have become the leaders of a pretty young group of corners. With the exception of those two players, the other corners have been in the league two or fewer years. Gratz is the player they’re counting on to make a big jump in his second season. Just because the Jaguars are happy with their top four corners doesn’t mean they won’t draft one, though.
Starters: SS Johnathan Cyprien, FS Josh Evans.
Reserves: Winston Guy, Chris Prosinski, Sherrod Martin, Joe Young.
Coach Gus Bradley said after the season he was surprised at Cyprien’s cover skills and he’s expecting big things from him in his second season. Evans was thrust into a starting role before he was ready last season and really struggled. Guy came on late in the season and the competition between the two for the starting job will be an interesting one to watch.
Who’s on the roster: Brandon Deaderick, Abry Jones, Kyle Love, Sen'Derrick Marks, Roy Miller, Jordan Miller and Drake Nevis.
Analysis: The Jaguars are in good shape with Miller and Marks, who signed a four-year extension in December after having the best season of his career. Miller’s play was impacted by his chronic shoulder injury but offseason surgery should fix that issue and he should be the same player he was in Tampa Bay before he signed with the Jaguars in 2013. It’s after those two that the Jaguars have problems. Jones and Miller are young and Nevis has not developed after being drafted in the third round in 2011 by Indianapolis. Love was with the team in training camp, was cut, and then brought back late in the season because of injuries.
NFL free agents of interest: Tony McDaniel, Earl Mitchell, Lamarr Houston and Arthur Jones.
Need meter: 8. Marks gives the Jaguars an athletic tackle who can also rush the passer while Miller is a prototypical run-stuffer. The Jaguars need to upgrade behind Marks and Miller and they will look for help in the draft as well. A four-man tackle rotation would help limit the amount of snaps Marks plays. He was on the field for 805 snaps in 2013, which is too many.
Breakdown of starts: Sen'Derrick Marks (16), Roy Miller (14), Jordan Miller (1), Brandon Deaderick (1).
Recap: Marks was clearly the Jaguars’ best defensive lineman and their second-best defensive player behind middle linebacker Paul Posluszny. He joined the Jaguars in March and set career highs in sacks (four), passes defensed (eight), forced fumbles (two) and fumble recoveries (three) in 2013. He had three sacks, eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles and no fumble recoveries in his first four seasons with Tennessee.
The Jaguars rewarded him with a four-year contract extension in December that reportedly could be worth up to $22 million, making him one of the defense’s building blocks along with cornerback Dwayne Gratz and safety Johnathan Cyprien.
Outside of Marks, though, the tackles were disappointing. Roy Miller had 24 tackles and wasn’t the run-stuffing force he was in Tampa Bay, mainly because he played with a torn labrum in his shoulder for nearly the entire season. The staff was pleased with what he was able to do but his injury limited his effectiveness at times.
The group did play better in the second half of the season. The Jaguars gave up 102 yards per game on the ground in the final eight games after giving up 162 yards per game in the first eight games. The tackles did a better job of gap discipline and occupying and then shedding blockers.
Looking ahead to 2014
Players under contract: Marks, Roy Miller, Jordan Miller, Abry Jones, Drake Nevis
The skinny: Marks is a foundation piece of the defense and the staff is hoping a healthy Roy Miller will be the same kind of player he was in Tampa Bay. Other than those two, though, the Jaguars don’t have much right now.
Jones and Jordan Miller showed some promise but both could have trouble making the roster next season if the Jaguars are able to significantly upgrade the depth behind the two starters.
The Jaguars will likely address this spot in free agency and almost certainly will draft at least one defensive tackle among their 10 picks.
LB J.T. Thomas: 70 of 70
S Johnathan Cyprien: 70 of 70
LB Paul Posluszny: 69 of 70
CB Will Blackmon: 66 of 70
CB Alan Ball: 63 of 70
DT Sen'Derrick Marks: 53 of 70
DE Tyson Alualu: 48 of 70
DE Jason Babin: 44 of 70
S Winston Guy: 38 of 70
DT Kyle Love: 37 of 70
CB Mike Harris: 33 of 70
DE Andre Branch: 33 of 70
S Josh Evans: 32 of 70
LB LaRoy Reynolds: 25 of 70
DT Jordan Miller: 19 of 70
DT Abry Jones: 17 of 70
DE Ryan Davis: 16 of 70
DT Drake Nevis: 16 of 70
DB Demetrius McCray: 9 of 70
LB John Lotulelei: 9 of 70
S Chris Prosinski: 2 of 70
LB Nate Stupar: 1 of 70
Analysis: Thomas made the second start of his career and never left the field on defense. He has played in all but 13 snaps the last two weeks. He played just 18 of 76 snaps against Buffalo. ... Nevis and Love were acquired early last week and combined for six tackles. ... The Jaguars started the game in nickel and played it for much of the game. Harris played nearly as many snaps against the Colts as he did in the last two games combined (37). ... Reynolds made six tackles and broke up one pass in his 25 snaps. ... Babin had a sack and finished the season with the team lead (7.5). Branch was second with six.
MoJo’s finale? Could this be the final game in a Jaguars uniform for running back Maurice Jones-Drew? His contract expires next week and there’s no certainty that he’s going to re-sign with the Jaguars. He’s likely going to test the free-agency market but has said he wants to be back in Jacksonville. However, he also said he has a number in mind regarding salary and contract length, which may not be in tune with what the Jaguars are willing to offer. Jones-Drew could leave an impressive final impression, though, because he has averaged 100.9 yards per game against the Colts in his career.
And Chad Henne, too? Henne also will be an unrestricted free agent next week and he’s a player the Jaguars will likely want to re-sign. The question will be whether Henne wants to go somewhere else to compete for a starting job or whether he’d be willing to return to Jacksonville to be a mentor to whichever young quarterback the team drafts in May. Henne has played his best football over the past month, throwing eight touchdown passes in the four games, and has shown he’s capable of running the offense and not putting the team in bad situations. He’d be a valuable player to have around in 2014, especially if the young quarterback isn’t ready to start at the beginning of the season.
Stopping the run: Injuries along the defensive line have really hurt the Jaguars against the run the past two weeks. Buffalo and Tennessee rushed for 198 and 182 yards, respectively, in victories in Jacksonville. The Jaguars have had to rely on inexperienced players like Abry Jones and Jordan Miller and this week added two defensive tackles that will see time against the Colts: Kevin Love, who was with the team in training camp until the final cuts, and Drake Nevis. The Colts are averaging 110.9 yards per game rushing.
Tight end trouble: Tight ends have given the Jaguars trouble all season and Indy’s Coby Fleener caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown in the previous meeting, which the Colts won 37-3. That was rookie safety Johnathan Cyprien’s fourth game and he’s a much better player now. He has been bothered by a thigh injury and has practiced on a limited basis but is expected to play. This will be a good gauge on how much he – as well as fellow rookie safety Josh Evans and second-year safety Winston Guy – has improved.
Handling Mathis: Colts outside linebacker Robert Mathis is second in the NFL with 17.5 sacks (St. Louis’ Robert Quinn has 18.0). He’s not a good matchup under normal circumstances but the Jaguars’ situation at offensive tackle is uncertain. Starting left tackle Cameron Bradfield did not practice until Friday because of a high ankle sprain and is questionable for Sunday. If he can’t go, the Jaguars will move right tackle Austin Pasztor to left tackle and start Sam Young, who has played mainly on special teams this season, at right tackle. Expect the Colts to target Young all afternoon if he’s in the game.
S Johnathan Cyprien: 73 of 73
LB Paul Posluszny: 72 of 73
CB Alan Ball: 71 of 73
DT Sen'Derrick Marks: 64 of 73
LB J.T. Thomas: 60 of 73
CB Will Blackmon: 56 of 73
DE Tyson Alualu: 53: of 73
DE Jason Babin: 49 of 73
DE Andre Branch: 42 of 73
S Josh Evans: 39 of 73
S Winston Guy: 36 of 73
DT Jordan Miller: 35 of 73
LB LaRoy Reynolds: 31 of 73
CB Mike Harris: 24 of 73
LB John Lotulelei: 23 of 73
DT Abry Jones: 23 of 73
CB Dwayne Gratz: 20 of 73
DE Ryan Davis: 16 of 73
DT Brandon Deaderick: 13 of 73
S Chris Prosinski: 2 of 73
LB Nate Stupar: 1 of 73
Analysis: Miller was playing in his first game this season and played nearly half the snaps because Deaderick dislocated his right elbow. A safe estimate on the number of snaps he would have played had Deaderick not gotten hurt: 10-15. ... Posluszny was off the field for only one play, because he was receiving stitches in his chin. ... Evans and Guy split the playing time at free safety. It’ll be an interesting battle between the two during the offseason to see who can win the starting job. ... Thomas and Lotulelei started alongside Posluszny because of injuries to Geno Hayes (knee) and Russell Allen (concussion). ... Blackmon was forced into more snaps because Gratz went out with an ankle injury. Gratz’s status for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis is uncertain.
Love was with the team from mid-May until the final cuts of training camp but re-joined the team on Monday to help shore up a position that has been hit hard by injuries.
Starter Roy Miller did not play against Tennessee on Sunday because of a shoulder injury and the team placed him on IR on Monday. His replacement, Brandon Deaderick, suffered a dislocated right elbow and was placed on IR. Sen’Derrick Marks, Abry Jones and Jordan Miller, who was active for the first time on Sunday, finished the Titans game as the only healthy defensive tackles.
The Jaguars also signed Drake Nevis, who played in 11 games for the Dallas Cowboys before being waived on Dec. 17.
Love, who was with the Kansas City Chiefs from Nov. 19 to Dec. 3, and Nevis should get significant playing time against the Colts alongside Marks, with Miller and Jones working in the rotation.
LB Paul Posluszny: 76 of 76
CB Alan Ball: 75 of 76
CB Dwayne Gratz: 72 of 76
S Winston Guy: 64 of 76
DE Tyson Alualu: 64 of 76
DT Sen'Derrick Marks: 61 of 76
S Chris Prosinski: 60 of 76
DT Roy Miller: 54 of 76
LB Geno Hayes: 53 of 76
DE Jason Babin: 52 of 76
LB Russell Allen: 44 of 76
DE Andre Branch: 41 of 76
S Josh Evans: 29 of 76
DT Abry Jones: 20 of 76
LB J.T. Thomas: 18 of 76
LB John Lotulelei: 15 of 76
CB Mike Harris: 13 of 76
DE Ryan Davis: 12 of 76
CB Will Blackmon: 11 of 76
Analysis: Prosinski played a season high in snaps because of the thigh injury to safety Johnathan Cyprien, who snapped his streak of playing every defensive snap this season. Prosinski finished with four tackles but also missed a chance at a sack on a blitz. … Evans missed last week's game with a shoulder injury and was eased back into the lineup. Guy started in Cyprien's place and Prosinski started in Evans' place. … Defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick was inactive for the second consecutive week. … Branch played one of his better games, recording five tackles, a sack, a quarterback hit, and two tackles for loss. … Blackmon's snaps were drastically reduced because the Jaguars played more base defense against the Bills.
S Johnathan Cyprien: 83 of 83
S Winston Guy: 83 of 83
LB Paul Posluszny: 83 of 83
CB Alan Ball: 80 of 83
CB Dwayne Gratz: 75 of 83
DT Sen'Derrick Marks: 73 of 83
LB Geno Hayes: 72 of 83
DE Jason Babin: 65 of 83
DE Andre Branch: 54 of 83
DE Jeremy Mincey: 36 of 83
DE Tyson Alualu: 35 of 83
DT Roy Miller: 35 of 83
LB Russell Allen: 32 of 83
CB Will Blackmon: 29 of 83
CB Mike Harris: 25 of 83
DE Ryan Davis: 20 of 83
DT Abry Jones: 13 of 83
LB J.T. Thomas: 11 of 83
LB John Lotulelei: 8 of 83
CB Jamell Fleming: 1 of 83
Analysis: Marks played a season-high 73 snaps, which was more than twice the number of snaps Miller played. … Defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick was inactive for the first time this season. Coach Gus Bradley opted to have Jones active instead. ... Mincey was active for the first time since the Nov. 17 Arizona game. He made little impact, assisting on just one tackle. ... Davis recorded the first sack of his career. It came on the game’s final play. ... Branch has recorded a sack in three of the past four games. ... Guy made his first career start.
Where’s Andre? The Jaguars did a good job in the last meeting of limiting Andre Johnson to two catches for 36 yards. Part of the reason was how poorly quarterback Case Keenum played, but the Jaguars did have a hand in that as well, sacking him twice, hitting him five other times, and breaking up nine passes. But the Jaguars also made sure they knew where Johnson was at all times and gave the corners safety help over the top. Plus, a player without coverage responsibilities slid over to help on shorter routes. Expect the Texans to get Johnson involved early and often.
Playing loose: Coach Gus Bradley told the players he didn’t want them getting amped up because Thursday’s game will be on national TV. "What are we doing next Sunday?" Bradley said. "Don’t get amped up? I don’t want to send them that double message." Still, you can sense excitement among the players, who are eager to show they’re a significantly better team than the one that started the season 0-8. Does that mean they’ll play loose and trust their preparation, like Bradley told them, or will be they a big tight? Sometimes you don’t know what you’re going to get from a young team until the moment happens.
Watt’s happening: Texans DE J.J. Watt had only one sack in the first meeting, but he hit quarterback Chad Henne five times and had two tackles for loss. The Jaguars have to do a better job of neutralizing him this time. Henne took quite a beating in that game (four sacks, 13 hits) but stood in the pocket and didn’t make poor throws. Look for some quicker throws to keep that from happening in this meeting.
More Todman: Running back Jordan Todman has gotten more work the past four games, in part to give Maurice Jones-Drew a bit of a break but also because he has proven he deserves carries. He has run for 82 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries in the last four games, including 62 yards on 16 carries in the past two games. He had a career-high 11 carries for 31 yards against Houston on Nov. 24, which was also the day that Jones-Drew produced a season-high 144 all-purpose yards.
Defensive line surprise: Bradley said defensive end Jeremy Mincey and defensive tackle Abry Jones will both be active against the Texans. That means another defensive lineman -- possibly tackle Brandon Deaderick or end Ryan Davis -- will be inactive. Tackle Roy Miller has been battling a shoulder injury all season but the Jaguars going non-contact this week because of the short turnaround gave him additional time to rest the shoulder.
S Johnathan Cyprien: 75 of 75
LB Paul Posluszny: 75 of 75
CB Alan Ball: 74 of 75
CB Dwayne Gratz: 73 of 75
S Winston Guy: 66 of 75
LB Geno Hayes: 65 of 75
DT Sen'Derrick Marks: 59 of 75
DE Andre Branch: 55 of 75
DE Jason Babin: 53 of 75
LB Russell Allen: 43 of 75
DT Roy Miller: 40 of 75
DE Tyson Alualu: 37 of 75
CB Mike Harris: 30 of 75
DT Brandon Deaderick: 23 of 75
DE Ryan Davis: 18 of 75
DT Abry Jones: 13 of 75
LB J.T. Thomas: 10 of 75
S Josh Evans: 9 of 75
S Chris Prosinski: 4 of 75
LB John Lotulelei: 2 of 75
CB Will Blackmon: 1 of 75
Analysis: Evans left the game early because of a shoulder injury and Guy played the remainder of the game. Gus Bradley said Monday that Evans’ status for Thursday’s game against Houston is uncertain. That would mean Guy, who played a season-high in snaps, would make his first start of the season. ... Babin played perhaps his best game of the season, recording 1.5 sacks, hitting the quarterback twice, and forcing a fumble. ... Marks also had his best game, which is saying a lot because he has been the Jaguars’ best defensive lineman all season. He forced a fumble, recovered another, knocked down one pass, and hit the quarterback once to go along with three solo tackles.
Starter Mike Brown (shoulder) and Stephen Burton (concussion) were among eight players who did not practice on Wednesday. Brown was hurt during the Jaguars' 27-14 loss to Arizona last Sunday. He is averaging a team-high 17.0 yards per catch (17 catches for 289 yards).
Linebacker Geno Hayes (knee) and defensive tackle Abry Jones (back) also missed practice because of injuries. Defensive end Jason Babin, running back Maurice Jones-Drew, defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks, center Brad Meester, and defensive tackle Roy Miller were given a veteran's day off.
Cornerback Will Blackmon (shoulder), cornerback Dwayne Gratz (hip), safety Winston Guy (hamstring), tight end Danny Noble (hamstring), linebacker Paul Posluszny (concussion), guard Will Rackley (concussion), receiver Cecil Shorts (groin), receiver Stephen Williams (Achilles) and receiver Kerry Taylor (toe) were limited.
S Johnathan Cyprien: He is one of only two players to have been on the field for every defensive snap. He's third on the team with 47 tackles and has forced three fumbles. The second-round pick from Florida International is the physical presence the team wants in the secondary, but he's still getting out of position too often and missing too many tackles. He needs to become more consistent.
CB Dwayne Gratz: Gratz started the season opener but suffered a high ankle sprain and missed the next five games. He is slowly working back into the lineup The injury obviously delayed his development and Will Blackmon is playing well enough that Gratz may continue to work as an extra defensive back or sub for a drive or two each game.
DT Abry Jones: The undrafted free agent from Georgia earned praise from head coach Gus Bradley toward the end of the preseason but has played in only three games. He has made just one tackle. Jones' playing time likely won't increase in the second half of the season.
LB John Lotulelei: Lotulelei, an undrafted free agent from UNLV, has played just one snap on defense since the team claimed him off waivers from Seattle on Oct. 3 but has been a big contributor on special teams. He has only one tackle but has already forced a fumble. Don't expect to see him on defense much in the second half of the season.
CB Demetrius McCray: The Jaguars' seventh-round pick has played in six games but got the bulk of his playing time on defense against Seattle (65 plays) because of an injury to Alan Ball. He has five tackles and two pass breakups but is also a key special teams player. Unless there's a rash of injuries, McCray won't play much defense at all in the second half (since the 65 plays vs. Seattle, he has played just five snaps).
LB LaRoy Reynolds: The undrafted free agent from Virginia has not played a snap on defense but is third on the team in special teams tackles (five). At some point the team may want to give him a look on defense late in the season, but his main role is as a special teams player.
WR Denard Robinson: The team was struggling to find a role for the fifth-round pick from Michigan. They tried him at receiver and wildcat quarterback, but issues with his hands ended those experiments. They seem to have settled on him as a running back and he got the most action of his career last week against San Francisco (11 snaps, four carries for 15 yards). He'll get more work behind Maurice Jones-Drew in the second half of the season.
WR/PR Ace Sanders: The fourth-round pick from South Carolina has had an up-and-down first half. He played a lot of snaps and caught 16 passes, but he had several drops the first few games. He also had a punt return for a touchdown called back because of a penalty. He then suffered a concussion against Denver and missed the San Diego game. With Mike Brown's emergence, Sanders played just four snaps on offense against San Francisco. He'll get more snaps on offense than that, but certainly not as many as early in the season. He's also convinced he'll take a punt back for a TD, which is the main role for which the Jaguars drafted him.
LS Carson Tinker: The undrafted free agent from Alabama beat out veteran Jeremy Cain to win the job and has been largely anonymous -- which is what you want out of your long snapper because that means he's doing his job -- with the exception of one bad snap against Denver.