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Boselli says knee 'is strong'


Meeting with reporters for the first time since his knee injury this past Sunday, Tony Boselli painted a very positive picture for his recovery.

"The knee is strong. It shows the ligaments are strong because there was no damage. It's actually very encouraging," the star offensive tackle said of what was diagnosed to be a bone-bruise injury to his right knee.

Boselli underwent reconstructive surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament in that knee in January of 2000, and he admitted to immediate fears of having re-injured the ACL.

"It felt similar. The feeling of the similarity was more concerning," he said in explaining his reaction immediately following the injury. Boselli was clearly pained and distressed as he was taken from the practice field on a motorized cart Sunday morning.

He wouldn't predict he'll be able to play in the regular-season opener on Sept. 9 against the Pittsburgh Steelers, but he turned back any suggestion that there's more wrong with his right knee than the Jaguars are reporting.

"I'm not worried one bit. My knees are fine. How it turned out is a very positive sign. I don't think it will ever happen again," Boselli said when asked if the state of his knees, both of which have undergone surgery, might result in recurring injuries.

Apparently, Boselli experienced a bone-on-bone jamming effect in his right knee as he pivoted while in a pass-blocking mode. The injury was not caused by contact with another player.

Meanwhile, coach Tom Coughlin revealed that quarterback Mark Brunell and the Jaguars first units will play through the first half and maybe even into the third quarter this Thursday night, when the Jaguars host the Kansas City Chiefs in the summer's third preseason game.

"I believe that at some point they should come back in the third quarter, because they have been in the locker room," said Coughlin, who wants his starters to reacquaint themselves with some degree of a full-game feeling.

The third preseason game is usually the most competitive, with starters usually exiting early in the fourth and final game of the preseason.

Coughlin said guard/tackle Zach Wiegert and tight end Damon Jones will make their preseason debuts. Each player is in his comeback season from ACL surgery. Wide receiver Jimmy Smith will also see his first action.

NFL teams must cut their rosters to 65 players, plus NFL Europe roster exemptions, by next Tuesday, Aug. 28, which makes this the last chance for several Jaguars hopefuls to impress their coach. The Jaguars hold 10 NFL Europe exemptions.

"There are a few interesting decisions that have to be made, and that has to be a consideration," Coughlin said when asked if the salary cap will be a factor in making those roster cuts.

Some have speculated that veteran safety Carnell Lake could be a cap casualty, but Coughlin did not indicate he was thinking in that direction. "I've not had any thought other than Carnell Lake being on our team," he said.

"Every day you practice, a player has a chance to impress you. I always reserve the right to change my mind," Coughlin added of player evaluations he must make.

Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.

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