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Bortles: Challenge to remember


JACKSONVILLE – The task is one of the NFL's toughest.

Blake Bortles will face that task Sunday, and that's true for the entire Jaguars offense, too – the entire team, actually.

The Jaguars, a team showing signs of momentum after a home victory over Miami Sunday, travel to Foxboro, Mass., this week to face the team that won the Super Bowl last season.

Because the team is the unbeaten New England Patriots – with quarterback Tom Brady, tight end Rob Gronkowski and a ton of motivation – the Jaguars' task as a team is significant. Because the head coach is Bill Belichick, whose defenses historically makes life difficult for young quarterbacks …

Well, because of that – and a whole lot of other factors – Bortles said it's absolutely a major challenge.

"The success they've had as a team – they're a challenge on all quarterbacks, I think," Bortles said Wednesday as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (1-1) prepared to play the AFC East-leading Patriots (2-0) at Gillette Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m.

"Everything they do – they're a good offense, they put up a lot of points, it's a good place to play, the fans have a ton of energy and Belichick has been around a long time and seen a ton of quarterbacks and a ton of football …

"I'm sure he has a good game plan, so it's a good opportunity for us as an offensive unit."

Bortles, who will make his 16th NFL start Sunday, talked extensively while meeting with the media Wednesday about the Patriots' recent history – and the status of Brady as one of the NFL's best quarterbacks of all-time. Those things are real, but won't be a factor Sunday – or in the Jaguars' preparation.

"Any time you get an opportunity – I guess in 20 years – to say, 'We played the New England Patriots the year after they won the Super Bowl …' that's something you'll remember, I'm sure,'' he said. "But it's about us and how we go about our business.

"Obviously, we want to get to know them and know their personnel and everything, but it's more about knowing our game plan and how we can execute it."

Bortles also said he expects tight end Marcedes Lewis' role in the passing offense to increase. Lewis has yet to catch a pass in two games this season.

"He's continued to run good routes, and that will only continue," Bortles said. "He'll definitely get his share of balls thrown to him. I know it hasn't been a lot these first couple of weeks. He's in the game plan. It just hasn't worked out to where he's gotten multiple throws his way."

Also Wednesday, wide receiver Bryan Walters spoke to the media a day after being re-signed to take the roster spot and receiving position of rookie Rashad Greene. Walters was released Saturday to make room for cornerback Peyton Thompson to move to the active roster from the practice squad.

Walters, who signed Tuesday when the Jaguars placed Greene on the injured reserve/designated to return list, said he stayed in Jacksonville after being released.

"There were never any promises or anything," Walters said, adding that the team indicated he could be re-signed. "It's part of the business. It's a numbers game. Injuries in this game are always unfortunate, but they have a big effect on everyone.

"Now, we have some injuries at wide receiver, so other guys have to step up."

Also around the Jaguars Wednesday:

*Backup running back Denard Robinson said he doesn't know how long the knee injury sustained against the Dolphins will keep him out – but said he doesn't expect his absence to be long-term. "We'll see," Robinson said of the injury that has been reported as a medial collateral ligament sprain. "In two or three weeks, I'll be all right. It's disappointing, but it's football. You just grind out." …

*Starting left tackle Luke Joeckel said he will practice limited Wednesday to test the sprained ankle that kept him out of the Dolphins game Sunday. "We'll see how it goes," he said. "We don't really know." Sam Young would make a second consecutive start at left tackle if Joeckel can't play. …

*Starting strong safety Johnathan Cyprien said he doesn't expect to practice Wednesday, but that he still hopes to play Sunday. …

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