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One-game season

Posted Nov 16, 2011

Now is no time to look westward. Not yet.

For that matter, with a 3-6 record nine games into the 2011 NFL season, two-time Pro Bowl running back Maurice Jones-Drew said Wednesday there’s no sense in the Jaguars really looking anywhere outside EverBank Field.

So, the division leaders lost their quarterback for the season?

So what, Jones-Drew said.

The Jaguars’ focus must remain on the present, on winning Sunday.

“It’s a one-game season,” Jones-Drew said Wednesday as the Jaguars (3-6) prepared to play the Cleveland Browns (3-6) at Cleveland Browns Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio, Sunday at 1 p.m.

Jones-Drew and other Jaguars players said Wednesday that was true no matter what had happened with the rest of the division.

Specifically, they said the events in Houston had no effect on the Jaguars’ season yet.

The Houston Texans, who beat the Jaguars 24-14 in Houston on October 30 and who lead the Jaguars in the AFC South by three and a half games, learned this week they will be without quarterback Matt Schaub the rest of the season. Schaub sustained a Lisfranc injury in his foot Sunday.

“We really can’t focus on that,” Jones-Drew said.

Still, with a 17-3 victory over the Colts in Indianapolis Sunday – and with the Jaguars winning twice in the last three games – Schaub’s absence has made some observers wonder if the Jaguars could get back into the AFC South chase with a late-season run. Jaguars Head Coach Jack Del Rio said such talk is fine for observers, but not for Jaguars players and coaches.

“The way we approach it is getting ready for the Cleveland Browns,” Del Rio said. “Anything outside of getting ready for the Cleveland Browns is not productive for us. We need to pour all of our energy into preparing for the Cleveland Browns Sunday.  I know it’s cliché, but we have to prepare for attacking each opponent one game at a time. That’s just the way it works.”

Jones-Drew said far more pertinent to the Jaguars than the quarterback situations of division rivals is how the Jaguars are playing.

“In order for us to get to our goal, we have to take it one game at a time,” Jones-Drew said. “We put ourselves in a big hole in the first half of the season. We took care of Indy. Now, we have to get ready for a tough Cleveland team. They’re similar to us. It’s going to be a real physical game.”

Also Wednesday:

*Jaguars defensive tackle Terrance Knighton said he doesn’t expect to play against Cleveland Sunday after missing Sunday’s victory at Indianapolis with an ankle injury. “We’re just being real cautious about it,” Knighton said. “I can play with pain, but it would get worse. I can take all the pain killers, but regardless, we just don’t want to make it a long term thing. I just have to be smart about it and rest it.” Knighton said he expects to return against Houston November 27. “I’ve never missed a game before in my life,” Knighton said. “Missing the Colts game bothered me, but it would have been selfish to go out there and play hurt and hurt the defense. It’s about longevity. We’ve got to be smart about it.’’ Knighton said there is nothing broken and that the injury is a deep bone bruise.

*Knighton was among four players missing practice for the Jaguars Wednesday, with the others being fullback Greg Jones (not injury related), defensive end Aaron Kampman (hamstring) and defensive end John Chick (abdomen). Kampman and Chick each missed Sunday’s victory at Indianapolis, while Jones – who typically is limited on Wednesdays – missed to attend a service in honor of his cousin and former heavyweight boxing champion, Joe Frazier.

*Defensive tackle Tyson Alualu and Jones-Drew each were limited in Wednesday’s practice for non-injury related seasons, with fullback Brock Bolen (calf), wide receiver Brian Robiskie (hamstring) and wide receiver Cecil Shorts (hamstring) also limited. Bolen, Robiskie and Shorts were inactive in Indianapolis Sunday.

*Jones-Drew said with six games remaining in the season, the NFL rushing title doesn’t concern him. The sixth-year veteran is currently the NFL’s fourth-leading rusher with 854 yards and four touchdowns on 191 carries. Buffalo running back Fred Jackson has rushed for 917 yards and six touchdowns on 163 carries. “Really that doesn’t matter,” Jones-Drew said. “I want to win. The rushing title is all fine and dandy, but if you don’t make the playoffs, what does it mean? I talked to (2011 NFL rushing champion) Arian (Foster of Houston) about that and he said it was nice to have it, but he didn’t have a chance to go to the playoffs. That’s the big thing in this league, is wins. “

*Del Rio said the signing of defensive end George Selvie had less to do with the injuries to Kampman and Chick and more to do with having roster space in the wake of cornerback Rashean Mathis, linebacker Kyle Bosworth and offensive lineman Eben Britton going on injured reserve. “What was a factor was us having the ability to go get an end right now,” Del Rio said. “We’re just trying to assemble the most talent for the football team at this point. Numbers allowed us to take a look.”

 

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