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First Off the Field: Jaguars get healthier at WR, LB

Posted Aug 17, 2014

Jaguars WR Cecil Shorts III, LB Dakoda Watson return as Jaguars return to practice at Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields.


JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars got significant news on the injury front Sunday.

It was welcome good news, and it came in two areas.

Wide receiver Cecil Shorts III, out since the first day of training camp with a hamstring injury, returned to practice on Sunday, five days before the team’s third preseason game. Shorts’ return came on the same day outside linebacker Dakoda Watson was removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list.

Watson, like Shorts, participated in the team’s workout Sunday morning and early afternoon. Each worked about two repetitions during each period Sunday.

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley on Sunday also said rookie quarterback Blake Bortles will get repetitions with the first-team offense in practice on Monday. Bradley had told reporters last Friday that Bortles will get first-team repetitions in the team’s third preseason game at Detroit Friday.

Veteran quarterback Chad Henne will start Friday and is expected to start the regular-season opener.

“I think he’ll get some reps with the ones tomorrow,” Bradley said of Bortles following a two-hour workout in 86-degree temperatures late Sunday morning and early afternoon.

Shorts had missed much of the offseason on-field work with a calf injury, while Watson’s practice Sunday was his first with the team after signing as an unrestricted free agent from Tampa Bay in the offseason.

Bradley said Shorts and Watson could play Friday against Detroit.

Bradley called Sunday’s work “Bonus Monday,” because the team had an extra day between Preseason Weeks 2 and 3.

“We really worked hard on tempo,” he said. “We had two periods of no-huddle, tempo-type practice, offense and defense, and we finished with a two-minute period that was high-tempo. It was good work coming off a players day off to get back in that mindset.”

Also Sunday, reserve tight end Fendi Onobun was carted off the field after sustaining a knee injury during an individual drill. He will undergo an MRI on the knee.

Sunday’s work also was the first for newly-signed Jaguars fullback Harvey Unga and offensive tackle Cody Booth. They were signed Saturday in the wake of a season-ending injury to fullback Bradie Ewing and a fractured hand sustained by offensive tackle Austin Pasztor. Ewing was waived/released Saturday.

Pasztor, the Jaguars’ starting right tackle, is expected to miss at least four weeks, meaning he won’t be available until the third week of the regular season. Cameron Bradfield will take his place on the offensive line.

Rookie center Luke Bowanko missed practice with an ankle injury sustained against Chicago. He underwent an MRI Friday, and was at practice without a boot Sunday.

Wide receiver Tandon Doss, out since early in training camp with an ankle injury, worked on the side in practice Sunday.

Also on Sunday, linebacker Paul Polsuszny returned to practice after missing Thursday’s preseason loss to Chicago with a biceps contusion. The injury was considered minor and Posluszny’s return Sunday was expected.

The Jaguars will visit the Detroit Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Mich., Friday at 7:30 p.m.

INJURY WATCH

Watson (sports hernia) came off the Physically Unable to Perform list Sunday, with cornerback Aaron Colvin (knee) remaining on the team’s non-football injury list. Harbor, wide receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring), offensive tackle Josh Wells (shoulder), Pasztor, safety Craig Loston (hamstring) did not practice. Rookie Rashaad Reynolds missed practice with an illness.

PLAY OF THE DAY

This came from Watson in his first practice back. Bortles threw a short pass to his right in red-zone drills and Watson made a diving deflection, drawing cheers from the crowd and congratulations from teammates.

HIGHLIGHTS

*Bradley also said on Sunday that wide receiver Ace Sanders could play in the preseason finale against the Atlanta Falcons on August 28. He has been out of training camp dealing with personal issues that led to a four-game, season-opening suspension but Bradley said if Sanders participates in practice next week he could play in the preseason finale. …

*Center Jacques McClendon worked with the first team extensively in practice Sunday, with Brandon Linder working at right guard. The Jaguars have been trying a series of combinations at center and guard throughout training camp. …

*Henne continued to look good in practice Sunday, completing a 20-yard pass to running back Toby Gerhart down the left sideline just before connecting with wide receiver Mike Brown for a deep touchdown pass down the right sidelines. …

*Bortles also continued to look good Sunday, dropping a nice completion over the linebackers to wide receiver Chad Bumphis and also throwing a quick sideline pass to wide receiver Kerry Taylor in team drills late in practice.

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