JACKSONVILLE – Here’s this week’s Wednesday wrapup.
Each Wednesday morning during the 2013 season, jaguars.com senior John Oehser will set the stage for the Jaguars’ Wednesday media access by previewing major topics facing the team that day. Each Wednesday afternoon/evening, he will break down what was learned from Jaguars players and coaches.
Here’s the wrapup of Wednesday’s five topics as the Jaguars prepare for the Seattle Seahawks . . .
1. Will it be Henne Part II on Sunday? This answer is pretty much 100 percent yes. Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley on Wednesday didn’t exactly rule quarterback Blaine Gabbert out for Sunday’s game, but he said it would be a stretch to see the third-year veteran play Sunday because of a hand injury that kept him out of last week’s game against Oakland. That means Chad Henne will make a second consecutive start for the Jaguars at quarterback and an eighth overall. Henne said he believes the extra work with the starters – in practice as well as last week in Oakland – will be beneficial for a young team with young receivers.
2. How’s the hand? Gabbert was named the starter in preseason, but has played just one of the Jaguars’ last four games. He missed the final two games of the preseason with thumb injury, and missed last week’s game with a laceration on his throwing hand. He had some of the 15 stitches on his hand removed this week, but although he threw more in practice Wednesday than he had since the injury, Bradley said he doesn’t expect him to play. Look for this to be a storyline next week as the Jaguars prepare for a home game against Indianapolis, but Henne almost certainly starts Sunday with Ricky Stanzi the backup.
3. Will Maurice Jones-Drew be available? This is still uncertain, but it appears running back Maurice Jones-Drew will have a better chance to play Sunday than it might originally have appeared this past Sunday. That was when he left the Oakland game with a strained tendon. Jones-Drew (ankle) missed practice Wednesday, and Bradley said the area was swelling more than was ideal. At the same time, Bradley said he remained optimistic that Jones-Drew will be available to play Sunday. That’s significant, because Jones-Drew appeared to be running with more confidence Sunday in Oakland before the injury than he had against Kansas City the previous week. During that time, the offense had a drive deep into Oakland territory, but stagnated after that.
4. What about Marcedes Lewis? Lewis ran Tuesday, but didn’t practice Wednesday because of the calf injury that has bothered him since preseason. Bradley said Lewis’ work Wednesday would be key to determining his status for Sunday and Lewis said if he doesn’t play Sunday he believes he will play the following week against Indianapolis. Cornerback Alan Ball (sore groin) will be monitored as the week progresses, while wide receiver Mike Brown (back) isn’t expected to play. The following players were limited Wednesday: guard Uche Nwaneri (knee), wide receiver Stephen Burton (hip), wide receiver Ace Sanders (rib), linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee) and guard Will Rackley (knee).
5. How do the Jaguars bounce back? The Jaguars are heavy underdogs entering the Seattle game, with the Jaguars losing two games – the Chiefs and the Raiders – by double digits and the Seahawks beating defending NFC Champion San Francisco 29-3 in prime-time Sunday. The Seahawks have one of the NFL’s best defenses, perhaps the NFL’s best secondary, and they ran effectively against one of the league’s best run defenses – the 49ers on Sunday night. “We’re not worried about what outsiders say,” Nwaneri said. “We’re just worried about us. We’ll stick to the game plan, be aggressive and match those guys’ intensity. People will have opinions all day and all night, but that has no bearing on what's going to happen.”