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First Off the Field: QB Chad Henne to play first half Thursday; Blake Bortles, second

Posted Aug 12, 2014

The latest news as the Jaguars close out their final open Training Camp practice of 2014.

JACKSONVILLE – Chad Henne will start Thursday against Chicago.

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said Tuesday while team-wide playing time for the second 2014 preseason game has not yet been determined, Henne – the starting quarterback in Week One of the preseason – will start and likely play the first half.

Blake Bortles, who replaced Henne to play the second and third quarters in a preseason victory over Tampa Bay Friday, likely will start the second half and play the third and fourth quarters, Bradley said Tuesday.

“Chad’s going first and second quarter, and Blake will come in in the second half,” Bradley said early Tuesday afternoon after the Jaguars worked for about two hours, 10 minutes in 85-degree temperatures at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields.

The Jaguars also got a little healthier Tuesday, getting good news at the running back position – and the linebacker positon, too.

Toby Gerhart, the Jaguars’ starting running back who has been out for a week and a half with a hip flexor, returned to practice Tuesday, as did reserve linebacker J.T. Thomas, who had been out much of camp with a hamstring injury.

Cornerback Alan Ball (ankle) also practiced Tuesday and increased work from Monday. He missed the preseason opener against Tampa Bay Friday for precautionary reasons.

Safety Sherrod Martin also returned to practice Tuesday, with defensive back Deion Belue (back), tight end Marcel Jensen (abs) and center Matt Stankiewitch (wrist) all missing practice Tuesday.

Bradley said Gerhart likely will play Thursday when the team visits the Chicago Bears in the second game of the 2014 preseason. He said Thomas likely will play, too, with final decisions to be made after consulting with trainers.

“I’m anticipating if I hear good reports he (Gerhart) is going to play – same thing with J.T.,” Bradley said. We’re going into it thinking they’re going to play.”

Bradley also said coaches will meet Tuesday night to discuss playing time and starters for Thursday.

Wide receiver Cecil Shorts III, out since the first day of camp with a hamstring injury, wore pads and a helmet to practice Tuesday, but he worked only on a limited basis early in practice. Wide receiver Lamaar Thomas (concussion) remained out of practice Tuesday, as did tight end Clay Harbor (calf), wide receiver Tandon Doss (ankle) and wide receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring). None are expected to play Thursday.

Linebacker Geno Hayes, defensive tackle Roy Miller and offensive tackle Austin Pasztor all missed practice Tuesday with veterans days off.

The Jaguars will hold a walkthrough practice later Tuesday afternoon, and will also practice Wednesday morning. The Wednesday practice is closed to the public, with Tuesday morning’s work the last 2014 training camp open to the public.

“I want to thank the fans,” Bradley said. “We opened up practice more (during this training camp). They did a great job coming out and we really appreciate all of that.”



Linebacker Dekoda Watson (sports hernia) remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list, with cornerback Aaron Colvin (knee) remaining on the non-football injury list. Shorts, Harbor, Robinson, Thomas and Doss remain out of practice. Watson worked on the side Tuesday for the first time in camp. Bradley has said Watson could return in time for the regular season.



Bortles appeared to take a repetition with the first team midway through practice. The Jaguars worked rookies with first-team players fairly consistency throughout practice, but on one play early Bortles was working with starting left tackle Luke Joeckel, starting left tackle Zane Beadles and starting wide receiver Marqise Lee, among others. The ball appeared to slip from Bortles’ hand, but it was the first time the rookie No. 3 overall selection worked so extensively with the first team in either the offseason or training camp.


*Henne had a nice 7-on-7 drill, with completions to wide receiver Allen Hurns (two), tight end Brandon Barden, wide receiver Marqise Lee, tight end Marcedes Lewis and running back Denard Robinson (touchdown). …

*Henne had a nice 20-yard, back-shoulder completion to Hurns later in practice. …

*Bortles also was efficient in the 7-on-7 drill, competing passes to wide receiver Chad Bumphis, fullback Will Ta-ufo-ou, tight end Fendi Onobu and Lee. …

*Wide receiver Kerry Taylor had a diving catch on the sideline from Henne in a team drill later in practice. …

*Bortles had a touchdown pass to Lewis later in red-zone drills, and also had one to Bumphis. …

*Third-team quarterback Ricky Stanzi also had a solid practice, throwing a touchdown pass in red-zone drills to Onobu, wide receiver Ramses Barden.


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