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Jones-Drew out Sunday

Posted Oct 22, 2012

Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew will miss at least one game with foot injury, Mularkey says.

The status of the quarterback remains uncertain.

The news regarding the Pro Bowl running back Monday was far more certain, though hardly in the way the Jaguars might have hoped.

Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars’ three-time Pro Bowl running back, is expected to miss at least one game following an injury to the middle part of his left foot Sunday, Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey said Monday afternoon.

“He’s probably going to be out,” Mularkey said of Jones-Drew Monday, a day after the Jaguars’ 26-23 overtime loss to the Oakland Raiders in Oakland.

“I can’t tell you the extent of time, but I can tell you he’ll be out this game.”

Mularkey was more optimistic regarding Blaine Gabbert.

Gabbert, the Jaguars’ starting quarterback the last 20 games, sustained an injury his left (non-throwing) shoulder, and although he did not play the second half Sunday, Mularkey said there is a chance he could play Sunday.

The injuries to Jones-Drew and Gabbert were among several for the Jaguars Sunday.

Cornerback Rashean Mathis left with what Mularkey called a slight groin pull, and his status will be updated later in the week. Guard Uche Nwaneri left with ankle and knee issues, but returned. Fullback Montell Owens, a two-time special teams Pro Bowl selection, left with a shoulder injury and Mularkey didn’t rule him out of practice Wednesday.

Mularkey said Jones-Drew sustained the injury on the first play, and couldn’t return despite several attempts to re-tape the foot.

“He just didn’t have the support he needed to run the ball,” Mularkey said.

Mularkey said he didn’t know the specifics of Jones-Drew’s injury, but based on the team’s experience with foot injuries this season he could rule Jones-Drew out Sunday.  Jaguars defensive end Austen Lane sustained a foot injury early in training camp, and missed two months.

“We’re hoping it’s not that,” Mularkey said.

Mularkey said while backup quarterback Chad Henne will be prepared to play Sunday, much of Gabbert’s status will “be up to Blaine, depending on how the shoulder feels.” Mularkey didn’t rule out the possibility of Gabbert taking all practice reps Wednesday, and said the team has not yet discussed signing another quarterback.

He said the team could sign another running back this week.

“There’s a chance, we’ve got to look and see who’s out there,” Mularkey said, “but nobody in particular right now.”

The Jaguars on Sunday led 17-6 at halftime and by 20-6 and 23-13 in the second half, but with Henne struggling in the second half managed just 54 yards and two first downs. Mularkey, who called the offensive performance “inept” Sunday, said while Henne’s play was “sporadic,” he remained confident in the veteran the Jaguars signed as a free agent in the off-season.

Mularkey said the Jaguars didn’t protect Henne adequately enough to get an accurate read on his performance.

“It’s hard to give a guy a grade when the protection is not up to the standards that we need to win,” Mularkey said.

Mularkey said what was most frustrating about the loss was what has been the case in many of the team’s losses, “there were a lot of good things that happened.” He said that was especially true of the defense, with the line having perhaps its best game of the season, registering two sacks, helping force an interception and pressuring Raiders quarterback Carson Palmer throughout.

The Jaguars also held running back Darren McFadden to 53 yards on 19 carries, but despite holding a double-digit lead for the first time this season, the Jaguars couldn’t hold and lost a third consecutive game.

“We already know our shortcoming in finishing games, but we have to find a way to actually do it,” Mularkey said. “At halftime, we talked about it, that it was a great opportunity for us to do what we had failed to do in the first quarter of games.

“We’re all well aware of it on the sidelines. We had some opportunities and didn’t come through on them. There were a handful of plays in that game that made a difference in that game. Unfortunately, we did not execute. That was the difference. They did.”

In other news:

*Wide receiver Laurent Robinson, who missed the last two games with a concussion, still has not passed his concussion test, Mularkey said.

*Mularkey did not rule linebacker Daryl Smith out for Sunday, but said the groin injury that has kept the veteran out the first six weeks is “not coming along like we’d like it to come along. Daryl’s a very tough individual. I know there’s something there if he’s not practicing.” Mularkey said there are no plans currently to put Smith on injured reserve.

*Safety Dwight Lowery (ankle) also is expected to miss Sunday’s game, Mularkey said, adding that second-year veteran Chris Prosinski played well in Lowery’s place Sunday. “I thought he did some good things for us,” Mularkey said.

*Mularkey said while wide receiver Justin Blackmon caught just 14 passes for 136 yards and no touchdowns this season, he remains confident in the No. 5 overall selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. Blackmon caught one pass for seven yards Sunday. “He did some things that maybe don’t show a lot of production, but it will eventually, if he continues on that same kind of path,” Mularkey said. “He’s had three good weeks of practice, and it will produce at some point. I’d like it to be sooner than later but it’s going to happen. A lot of other things have to happen for that to happen, starting with the protection and everything that goes along with it.”

*Mularkey said while some of Henne’s performance Sunday may have to do with getting a limited number of repetitions as the backup quarterback, the Jaguars have no plans to change that approach. Gabbert takes nearly every snap, as is the norm with NFL starting quarterbacks.


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