The Jaguars got some injury news they wanted on Friday. At last.
Derek Cox, a fourth-year veteran and a starting cornerback, is listed as probable on the injury report and likely will start against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday, Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey said early Friday afternoon.
"Getting one of your starters back is always a boost," Mularkey said as the Jaguars (0-2) prepared to play the Colts (1-1) in an AFC South game at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Sunday at 1 p.m.
Mularkey also said it's possible Rashean Mathis could start opposite Cox. Mathis, a 10-year veteran, has played the nickel role in the first two games as his leg continues to strengthen following rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Cox has been out since early in the preseason opener with a hamstring injury.
"We had three positive outcomes in a row," Cox said of the week. "It's a way to help me build confidence and feel more confident. Being out there with the guys, and working toward winning a ball game collectively, there's a lot of passion involved in that. It gets your engine running.
"Even prior to this week, you're trying to mentally play the game and be up to speed mentally."
The status of other Jaguars injured players was less clear, though linebacker Daryl Smith (groin), defensive end George Selvie (knee) and offensive guard Eben Britton (ankle) have been ruled out.
"He hasn't taken a step back, but he hasn't taken a step forward, either," Mularkey said of Britton.
Right tackle Cameron Bradfield (ankle) improved during the week, and worked limited the last two days. He is listed as questionable on the injury report, as is defensive end Austen Lane (foot).
Mularkey said overall this was a positive week for injured players making progress toward playing.
"They're out there, and we see them with pads on," Mularkey said. "The inactives aren't all going to be hurt this week. You don't want to have seven guys who are all injured, and that may not be the case this week."
The two players listed as probable on the injury report are Cox and quarterback Blaine Gabbert, the latter of whom practiced full throughout the week with a glute (butt muscle) injury. Mularkey had entered the week planning to give Gabbert repetitions off in practice, but Mularkey said that was never necessary.
"He's a tough guy," Mularkey said. "He didn't miss a snap. He was told to be careful, to be smart. He had a good week."
Jaguars quarterbacks coach Greg Olson said Gabbert is ready to play Sunday, and said the key for Gabbert following a 7-for-19, 53-yard, one-touchdown passing performance against Houston this past week is "getting back to fundamentals."
"He has shown steady progress since the day we got here," Olson said. "We would have liked to have come out of (a season-opening loss to) Minnesota with a win, but we felt good about his progress up to that point. He took a step backward last week, but he has come back this week and had a good week of preparation.
"More than anything his fundamentals are key, his preparation, and he has been good with that. He has high expectations every week, but coming into this week we have high expectations for him."
Mularkey said overall he felt the team responded well this week following a 27-7 loss to the Texans this past Sunday, calling the week "outstanding."
"It was very good," he said. "I knew it was going to be. I felt that. Wednesday we had very good work. I'd say if we didn't. We had limited bodies. To push through as they did with the number of bodies was impressive."