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Palmer ready if needed

Posted Nov 23, 2012

Newly-signed backup QB Jordan Palmer: "I've gotten better every day" this week

Jordan Palmer liked a lot about what he saw from the Jaguars this past week.

And yes, Palmer – who re-signed this week to be the backup quarterback amid a week of change at the position – indeed watched the Jaguars last Sunday, as he watched them pretty much every game this season.

One, he had a lot of friends on the team.

But as importantly, he said he wanted have an idea what was going on with the team in case what happened this past week happened. He wanted to be ready if needed.

And yes, Palmer this week said if needed he indeed will be ready.

“It’s tough as a quarterback to stay this kind of ready,” Palmer said this week as the Jaguars (1-9) prepared to play the Tennessee Titans (4-6) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m. “I’ve been throwing. I’ve been running. But it’s tough to simulate that, especially since all the guys I would be throwing to are working right now.”

Palmer, released shortly before the season, said he instead spent the past two months throwing to high school friends and former Pro Bowl wide receiver Terrell Owens, with whom Palmer played with the Cincinnati Bengals.

“It’s tough to mimic the little things,” Palmer said, “but I feel like I’ve gotten better each day (this week). I feel really confident that I’ll be ready to help in any capacity Sunday, mentally and physically.”

Palmer’s signing came Wednesday in the wake of the decision to place Blaine Gabbert on injured reserve with a forearm injury. Head Coach Mike Mularkey on Monday named Chad Henne the starter for Sunday in the wake of Henne’s four-touchdown, 354-yard performance in an overtime loss at Houston.

Henne will start Sunday, and Mularkey said this week he will have a chance to earn the job on a permanent basis if he plays well over the last six games.

“I had fun watching him play last week,” Palmer said of Henne. “He’s a guy who handles himself the right way. He’s a quarterback. He’s a leader. He’s a great guy. He’s one of the best-liked guys on the team. He’s a winner, too, and I’m excited to see what he’s going to do.

“He has the tools. Now, he has the opportunity. He just has to make the plays. I haven’t been around here, but I see bright stuff for the last three weeks.”

Palmer said he watched Jaguars games most of the season because after being with the team through the offseason and training camp, he felt he had a lot invested in the franchise.

“I have buddies on the team,” he said. “This is about the best locker room I’ve been in in terms of guys, and I wanted them to have success. I guess I was watching as a fan and cheering them on.”

He’ll be doing a lot more than that Sunday, and if needed to do even more, he said he’ll be ready.

Also around the Jaguars:

*Safety Dwight Lowery, out the last five games with an ankle injury, will likely play against Tennessee Sunday, Mularkey said Friday. Lowery worked on a limited basis in practice this week and is listed as questionable on the injury report. “As players, we always think we’re ready,” Lowery said. “I’m going to leave that decision to the powers that be.”

*Rookie wide receiver Kevin Elliott could get a more extensive role in the offense Sunday with veteran Laurent Robinson being placed on injured reserve. Elliott has played mostly as a gunner on special teams this season, and also has five receptions for 46 yards. “I’m just taking the same preparation and just staying ready if my number is called,” Elliott said. Mularkey on Friday said wide receiver Jordan Shipley – signed this week after Robinson went on injured reserve – also will be active and play a role Sunday.

*Cornerback Rashean Mathis, who worked limited this week, also has a chance to play Sunday after missing the last four games with a groin injury. He is questionable on the injury report, and Mularkey said Friday his status is less certain than Lowery’s entering the weekend, but that there’s a good chance Mathis will play. “I feel good,” Mathis said. “I was able to go out there with my guys and get reps, so that definitely was a plus. It’s about showing you can perform and I was feeling good at practice.”

*Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) was ruled out for a fifth consecutive game Friday, and cornerback Will Middleton was ruled out with the concussion sustained last week against the Texans. Neither practiced this week while fullback Greg Jones – who worked limited with a thigh injury Thursday – was ruled out for a fourth consecutive game.

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