JACKSONVILLE – T.J. Yeldon is expected to make his NFL debut Friday.
As he does, the Jaguars' rookie running back apparently will make it pretty much with the first team.
Yeldon, who missed the first two preseason games with a finger injury, is expected to play against the Detroit Lions at EverBank Field Friday in Preseason Week 3. A starter hasn't been determined, but Head Coach Gus Bradley said Yeldon likely will work extensively with the starters.
"I would see him getting some reps with the ones and twos – mostly ones, though," Bradley said Sunday afternoon, a day after the Jaguars' 22-12 loss to the New York Giants in Preseason Week 2 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Yeldon won't be the only Jaguars player debuting Friday.
Defensive end Chris Clemons, activated from the active non-football injury list Monday, is expected to practice full this week and play against the Lions. Rookie safety James Sample, activated from the physically unable to perform list Monday after sustaining a broken arm in organized team activities in May, also is expected to have an increased workload this week and play Friday. Wide receiver Neal Sterling (hamstring) also is expected to practice limited Monday.
Bradley said a key for Sample this week will be taking on and shedding blocks in practice.
"How he progresses there will determine how much and when he plays in the game," Bradley said. "We have our fingers crossed that he'll come out of practice this week in good shape. We'll try to get him some reps with the ones and twos, as many as we can – most likely the twos."
Yeldon, who has worked in a red, non-contact jersey since being injured in the Jaguars' August 8 scrimmage at EverBank Field, will practice out of the red jersey this week with a splint protecting the finger.
"I think he should be OK," Bradley said. "I think it was a situation where if it was a critical situation or a critical time he could have played last week. This week, we feel better about his opportunities."
In other Jaguars injury news from Saturday:
*Wide receiver Arrelious Benn sustained a broken collarbone and will undergo surgery Tuesday. "I wouldn't count on him for a while," Bradley said of Benn, has missed significant time because of injuries since being a second-round selection in the 2010 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay. Bradley said the team has not discussed whether to place Benn on injured reserve. Benn missed the 2013 season with Philadelphia because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament and missed eight games with Tampa Bay in 2012 because of a medial collateral ligament injury. "His attitude is phenomenal," Bradley said. "He came in and talked to Oley (offensive coordinator Greg Olson) and I this morning. He said, 'This isn't my first rodeo. I've had some injuries like this. I'll deal with it.' It's so unfortunate because he was doing some really good things for us."
*Cornerback Demetrius McCray sustained a right knee contusion. He will continue to be evaluated and will undergo an MRI. "He's valuable to us – his length and his role on special teams," Bradley said of McCray. "We do have some guys there who can play some good ball, but my hope is we get him back just because of his value on both defense and special teams."
Here are some player thoughts after Saturday's matchup against the New York Giants.
*Offensive tackle Josh Wells dislocated his left thumb and will continue to be evaluated. He is expected to meet with a hand specialist Monday. …
*Linebacker LaRoy Reynolds sustained a medial collateral ligament injury and will continue to be evaluated.
*Wide receiver Greg Jenkins sustained a high-ankle sprain and initially is considered day-to-day.
*Linebacker Khairi Fortt sustained a knee injury and will continue to be evaluated.
*Wide receiver Damian Copeland sustained a dislocated shoulder.