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Back from the bye: Hurns improving, Linder practices


JACKSONVILLE – Allen Hurns' situation has improved.

That doesn't mean the Jaguars' rookie wide receiver has been cleared to play, but he is closer now than when the team left for a Week 11 bye week.

Hurns, who sustained a concussion in a Week 10 loss to Dallas at Wembley Stadium in London on November 9, worked in individual drills Monday morning and early afternoon as the team held practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields.

"I feel like I'm back on track," Hurns said Monday, adding that he expects to play when the Jaguars (1-9) play the AFC South-leading Indianapolis Colts (6-4) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Sunday at 1 p.m.

Hurns has one more step before being fully cleared in the NFL's concussion program, the team announced.

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said he expects Hurns and veteran wide receiver Cecil Shorts III to be the starters at the position with Marqise Lee the third receiver. Rookie Allen Robinson, a starter in eight of 10 games this season, is out for the season with a stress fracture in his right foot.

The news regarding Hurns came the same day that second-year cornerback Dwayne Gratz missed practice for what Bradley called "an unfortunate situation."

"I expect to see him later this afternoon," Bradley said Monday after an hour-and-a-half workout before heavy rains hit downtown Jacksonville. "He'll be here, and I'll meet with him and it will be handled internally. It was an unfortunate situation that took place. We'll handle it internally.

"It's not good, what took place, and it's a matter we'll investigate a little more when he gets back here. … As I get more information, I'll share it with you."

Also on Monday, middle linebacker Jeremiah George (ankle) and defensive end Andre Branch (groin) continued to miss practice. George missed the Week 10 loss to Dallas, and Branch has been out since a Week 7 victory over Cleveland.

Branch said he is making progress and could return before the original six-week date the team announced as a possible return target, but said he did not expect to practice this week.

Right guard Brandon Linder, who missed the loss to Dallas with a shoulder strain, returned to practice on Monday.

Also Monday, the team announced that Robinson officially has been placed on injured reserve and will undergo surgery "soon" on the stress fracture that ended his season last week. The team used Robinson's roster spot to move tight end Marcedes Lewis from the injured reserve-designated to return list to the active roster.

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