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First Off the Field: 8/27

Posted Aug 27, 2013

Get the latest headlines as the Jaguars complete Tuesday's practice.

JACKSONVILLE – Chad Henne will start and play a short while.

That’s true of a lot of the other Jaguars’ starters this week, with Head Coach Gus Bradley saying Tuesday he won’t rest all of the team’s starters in the preseason finale against Atlanta Thursday.

Henne, who will start at quarterback with Blaine Gabbert out with a sprained right thumb, likely will play about 10-or-15 plays Thursday, and while the status of other starters remains a bit less clear, Bradley said most starters will be out of the game around that time.

“We anticipate seeing them (the starters) – it probably will be short-lived,” Bradley said after two-hour practice at the Florida Blue practice fields Tuesday.

Bradley said the team has yet to decide who will go in at quarterback first in place of Henne – veteran Mike Kafka or rookie free agent Matt Scott.

Bradley the following players are out for Thursday:

Running back Justin Forsett (toe), guard Will Rackley (ankle), tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf), safety Chris Prosinski (concussion), Gabbert and linebacker Russell Allen (ankle).

Bradley said some veterans also could be held out, with a decision coming at game time. Those players include middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, running back Maurice Jones-Drew and defensive tackle Roy Miller.

“We’ll be smart, and we’ll err (on the side) of being smart with guys,’’ Bradley said. “If we feel like there are some guys who are nicked up, that’s how we’ll err.”

Bradley said there’s a strong likelihood that Jones-Drew won’t play.

Also, Jaguars wide receiver Justin Blackmon went through his final practice before beginning a four-game suspension. He can be at the practice facility and attend practices and meetings during his suspension, but he cannot practice or play games.

Blackmon is expected to play Thursday.

“He’s really grown,” Bradley said. “What I’ve found out about Justin Blackmon is he’s really a competitor. I think you know me well enough that if you compete every day, you gravitate toward guys like that.

“I think he’s making progress on the other side, too, as far as putting his world in order, his life in order. He knows it’s not there yet, but he’s making good progress on it.”

The Jaguars are scheduled to practice Wednesday, after which they will leave for Atlanta. They play the Falcons in the final 2013 preseason game Thursday.

 

INJURY WATCH

Rackley remained out of practice for a second consecutive day after being injured in the third preseason game Saturday. Second-year veteran Mike Brewster worked in his place with the starters Tuesday.

Lews (calf) also remained out after missing the last two games, as did Prosinski, Allen, Gabbert and Forsett. Allen Reisner worked in Lewis’ place with the starters.

Cornerback Kevin Rutland (quadriceps) returned to practice.

“We anticipate seeing him play,” Bradley said of Rutland.

 

PHOTO GALLERY OF AUG. 27

PLAY OF THE DAY

Wide receiver Charly Martin had the highlight play of practice, making a one-handed, diving catch in the right, back corner of the end zone midway through practice.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

1.Wide receiver Cecil Shorts made a nice, one-handed reception on a high pass from Henne during team work on Tuesday.

2.Cornerback Mike Harris intercepted Matt Scott.

3.Kafka capped one team drill late in practice with a long pass to rookie tight end Ryan Otten.

4.Bradley said the prognosis on Gabbert’s return for the opener against Kansas City continues to be good. The plan is for Gabbert to start gripping the ball this week, and to practice next week as the Jaguars prepare for the opener. “Everything’s right on progress to where they initially thought,” Bradley said.

 

QUOTABLE

1.Bradley: “We put the pads on today. I know it’s a short week. Probably during the season, if it was a Thursday night game, we would not do this. Today, we felt like we wanted to go pads. We felt like this needed to be a strong, competitive work day.”

 

LOOKING ON . . .

*The quarterback situation is a fascinating one for the Jaguars entering the preseason finale. With Gabbert’s status uncertain, Henne is ready to start if needed, but that means the third quarterback – Scott or Kafka – could be one play away from playing if Gabbert is unavailable. Under normal circumstances, it seems likely the Jaguars would keep on the roster Scott, a free-agent rookie who has shown a strong arm and good athleticism. But Scott doesn’t appear ready for regular-season action, and that could mean needing to keep Kafka, a veteran who was signed shortly before the end of organized team activities in June.

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