A few issues to resolve

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The professional football lives of a few players will be determined in Thursday's preseason finale. Those few players need a strong performance to earn a place on the Jaguars' final roster.

In nearly every other way, however, the Jaguars have already settled the issues they brought with them into training camp on July 28, as most roster spots and starting jobs are set for the Sept. 9 season-opener against Tennessee.

So what issues are the Jaguars still facing?

There's an issue at wide receiver, for example, where Reggie Williams, Charles Sharon, Mike Walker and John Broussard would each do well to do something of note. Wide receiver is the position of greatest interest among the fans. It's the position that will be scrutinized most intensely by fans.

Williams is a former ninth pick of the draft who was moved up the depth chart this week, which would seem to indicate he's going to make the final roster. It shouldn't be ignored, however, that Williams doesn't play special teams.

Sharon and Broussard have been the Jaguars' most productive wide receivers in the preseason. They both, however, have practice squad eligibility and the team might see that as a way to keep more players.

Walker was a camp sensation, but he hasn't made much of a splash in the preseason to date. He could change all of that with a big game against the Redskins.

Head coach Jack Del Rio wouldn't reveal his play-time schedule for his quarterbacks, other than to say number three quarterback Quinn Gray will get the majority of the playing time. Del Rio's recent history in preseason finales has been to rest his starters, which might mean number one quarterback Byron Leftwich will have to rest on his performance a week ago in Green Bay.

At running back, Alvin Pearman and LaBrandon Toefield are in a roster battle. The situation along the offensive line seems to be set but tight end has a degree of suspense to it. Will the number three tight end be Richard Angulo, Greg Estandia or Isaac Smolko? Estandia and Smolko have practice squad eligibility.

Most of the issues are on defense, where injuries abound. Consider the defensive line: Reggie Hayward is coming off Achilles surgery and Marcus Stroud is attempting a comeback from ankle surgery. Tony McDaniel is out with a sprained knee and recently-acquired Seth Payne is in a comeback from knee reconstruction. Defensive Coordinator Mike Smith needs to take a hard look at how he might weave pass-rush specialist Brent Hawkins into all of this.

Starting strongside linebacker Clint Ingram has been out of action since spraining an ankle in the preseason opener, but the biggest concerns are at safety, where rookie Reggie Nelson is trying to make it back for the season-opener after sustaining a significant ankle sprain against Tampa on Aug. 18.

"We're about putting the team together and preparing it to have a strong season and that's what we're going to continue to focus on," Del Rio told reporters earlier this week.

The Jaguars are 2-1 in the preseason and have already clinched their fifth consecutive non-losing preseason under Del Rio.

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