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Thursday, August 23, 2012
In advance of Jaguars at Ravens

By Paul Kuharsky

The Jaguars kick off in Baltimore against the Ravens in just a bit.

Jacksonville has played well in getting to 2-0 in the preseason, and after a week with a lot of back and forth in the media between the team and holdout running back Maurice Jones-Drew and the announcement that the Jaguars would play a home game in London for four consecutive seasons starting in 2013, they’ll be happy to get back to football.

We know preseason football results are meaningless.

But a third victory for Jacksonville would sustain some momentum, and it wouldn’t hurt the vibe about the team at home or nationally.

The Jaguars have scored on their opening drives against the Giants and Saints, and they’d certainly like to keep that streak alive. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert’s been very impressive outside of a fumble in the first game, and the team would love for him to build on that against another quality defense.

Monitor his protection. The Jaguars are still down two starters on the line, as left tackle Eugene Monroe and left guard Will Rackley are out.

On defense, Rashean Mathis plays for the first time in the preseason. It will be his first action since suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament in November. He and Aaron Ross are competing -- one will be the second starting cornerback, the other the nickel corner. The other starter at corner, Derek Cox, is among the players sitting out tonight injured.

The Jaguars, once deep at linebacker, will be without two players expected to start when they crafted their roster. Clint Session might not ever make it back from lingering concussion symptoms from the 2011 season. And Daryl Smith is out tonight with a groin injury.