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First off the Field: Wednesday, 9/4

Posted Sep 4, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars HC Gus Bradley on QB Blaine Gabbert: “We’re going to have to get as much time as we can to evaluate this.”

JACKSONVILLE – Blaine Gabbert officially was limited in practice Wednesday.

Whether the Jaguars’ starting quarterback indeed will start Sunday in the 2013 regular-season opener remains uncertain, with Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley saying late Wednesday afternoon the decision could come as late as game day.

Gabbert took reps on a limited basis Wednesday, Bradley said.

“I thought he did a nice job,” Bradley said Wednesday as the Jaguars prepared to play the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2013 regular-season opener at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

“For being out a couple of weeks and getting back into the rhythm of it, I thought I saw some glimpses at the end where he was starting to get into a little more of a rhythm.”

Bradley added of the time frame for the decision, “We have some decisions to make. I know he feels better every day. We’re going to have to get as much time as we can to evaluate this.”

Bradley said the Jaguars got Gabbert some team repetitions – his first since sustaining a thumb injury in a Week 2 preseason game against the New York Jets – in a two-hour, 15-minute practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields Wednesday. He said Gabbert would be evaluated Wednesday to see how many repetitions he would get Thursday.

“He was limited in his reps, but we did give him some team reps to see how he would do,” Bradley said. “We’ll continue to evaluate him.”

Bradley added, “We may have to give him more reps or we may have to cut him back.”

Gabbert, a third-year veteran, was named the starting quarterback two days after that Week 3 game. If he can’t start, veteran Chad Henne is expected to start against the Kansas City Chiefs with recently-signed Ricky Stanzi the backup.

“We’re not going to put the team in jeopardy just to say he’s starting,” Bradley said. “Both of them are getting quite a few reps and Stanzi’s getting some reps, so we’re preparing for all of them.”

Bradley said the decision on playing Gabbert Sunday eventually could come down to feel.

“I don’t know if the pain is going to be gone,” he said. “I don’t know if that’s going to happen. It may be. But I imagine with something like that, he’s going to have a little pain in there. Can he be effective? Is it a distraction for him? Can he tolerate it? Those are all things we have to find out from him and how he’s feeling.

“When I meet with him, he says, ‘Hey, it’s getting better. I felt less today than I did yesterday,’ so it’s progressing. With that in mind, we know we still have some time.”

Also on Wednesday:

*Gabbert was one of six players officially limited Wednesday, with the others being tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf), defensive end Jeremy Mincey (skin condition), wide receiver Stephen Burton (illness), running back Justin Forsett (toe), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee) and offensive guard Will Rackley (ankle).

*Lewis re-aggravated a calf injury that had kept him out of the final three preseason games, Bradley said. “It tightened up on him, so we pulled him out of practice to have him evaluated,” Bradley said. “It wasn’t like the first time, but I think he felt it get tight.”

*Burton, recently claimed off waivers from Minnesota, had an issue with the heat in his second practice since joining the Jaguars.

*Forsett, who missed all four preseason games with a toe injury, said on Wednesday while he wasn’t quite 100 percent he expected to play Sunday.

*The Jaguars practiced in 92 degree temperatures Wednesday, but when asked about the heat being an advantage Sunday, Bradley said, “I don’t think of it that way . . . Just go play. We don’t even go in that avenue.”

 *Jones-Drew said he likes how offense progressed during training camp and preseason. “We just want to start off fast and kind of continue that momentum that we gained throughout preseason,” he said. “First preseason game we scored three points, next one we scored 13 and the next one we scored 24 and we’ve been getting better as an offense, obviously the defense has been doing their job as well. We just want to keep continuing that and then see how things work out week one.”


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