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A.J. Bouye: 'I'm just praying for them'


JACKSONVILLE – A.J. Bouye's thoughts were split Sunday.

Yes, the veteran cornerback had football thoughts – and he briefly discussed football things Sunday after the Jaguars practiced for a second time in preparing for Thursday's preseason finale.

But Bouye's thoughts, too, were to the west.

That's where his daughter, and many of his friends and former teammates were – in Houston, Texas, dealing with and escaping what has been described as "epic, catastrophic flooding" caused in recent days by Hurricane Harvey.

"I'm just praying for them," Bouye said following the Jaguars' practice on the practice fields adjacent to EverBank Field Sunday. "I know my daughter and her family, her mom, got out just in time. I've seen the pictures and everything; I know it's pretty bad.

"I'm just praying for anybody who's still stuck in there that they have a way to get out."

Bouye, who grew up in Georgia and played collegiately at the University of Central Florida, spent his first four NFL seasons with the Houston Texans. He signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in March 2017.

Parts of Houston reportedly were hit with more than 20 inches of rain this weekend, with the National Weather Service predicting 50 inches more this week. The Texans, who are scheduled to play host to the Dallas Cowboys in their preseason finale Sunday, flew to Dallas Saturday night because of the flooding.

The Jaguars are scheduled to open the 2017 regular-season at Houston on September 10.

"I talked to some of my old teammates, so I'm just hoping everybody there's OK," Bouye said. "I know it happens like once a year or every other year. I just didn't know it was going to get this bad.

"I hate to see everything that's going on there. I hope it changes soon."

Bouye said his daughter and her mother and family went to Dallas to escape the flooding.

"Mostly, everybody's going to Dallas," he said.

Bouye, after missing part of the team's offseason program with an undisclosed injury, participated full early in training camp before missing the Jaguars' first three preseason games with an injury. He returned to practice on Saturday and practiced again Sunday.

"I'm just excited right now to be back out there," Bouye said. "I'm just focusing right now on technique, getting better and competing. That's all I can really think about right now, that I'm just glad to be back out there."

Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone earlier this week said while it wasn't ideal for Bouye not to be playing, the fact that the veteran got good work in dual practices against New England early in training camp made him more comfortable with the situation.

The Jaguars have spent training camp working through injuries at the corner position. Starter Jalen Ramsey and Bouye have yet to play together, with Ramsey missing the first two preseason games before playing a series this past Thursday against Carolina. Cornerback Aaron Colvin has missed the first three preseason games returning from an injury that kept him on the physically unable to perform list through the first two preseason games.

Bouye was asked Sunday if the absence from games was a concern.

"I know I'm ready," Bouye said. "I watch film every day. I stay locked in with everything else. I feel good on the field. I know when the lights are on I'll be ready to compete. I'm just going to up my game. I'm not worried about it."

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