JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines the Thursday that was as the Jaguars began preparing to play the Indianapolis Colts at Wembley Stadium in London, England, Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
The Jaguars are heading overseas Thursday afternoon and evening.
As they take the flight across the Atlantic Ocean for their annual game at Wembley Stadium in London, England, they're taking some injury concerns along.
Tight end Julius Thomas and Leo defensive end Dante Fowler Jr., key players offensively and defensively, missed practice for a second consecutive day Thursday with elbow and shoulder injuries, respectively. Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said both likely will be game-time decisions Sunday.
"We probably won't know until Sunday," Bradley said of Fowler as the Jaguars (0-3) prepared to play the Indianapolis Colts (1-2) at Wembley Stadium Sunday at 9:30 a.m. ET.
"Overall we've got a bunch of guys who we're kind of waiting and seeing day-to-day, how they respond," Bradley added. "We'll have more answers, hopefully, tomorrow [Friday]."
Fowler, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft, has two sacks in three games this season and his tipped pass forced a late-game interception against the Ravens this past Sunday. If he can't play, rookie Yannick Ngakoue likely would start at Leo with veteran Chris Smith playing as a reserve.
Smith was inactive for the first three games.
Thomas, who has 11 receptions for 148 yards and one touchdown this season, also is expected to be a game-time decision, Bradley said.
"We'll just monitor him as he goes in," Bradley said.
Meanwhile, Bradley said the "arrow's down" for veteran defensive end Jared Odrick playing against the Colts. Odrick hasn't practiced since sustaining a triceps injury against the San Diego Chargers in Week 2 and missed Sunday's loss to the Ravens.
"For him, the bye week comes at a good time just to get back to complete health," Bradley said, referring to the team's Week 5 bye the week after the Colts game. "He's making really good progress. It's just full strength isn't there yet."
READY AND ABLE
Offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum worked full for a second consecutive day after missing Sunday's loss to the Ravens while in the concussion protocol. Beachum had sustained the concussion against San Diego the week before, and while he felt able to play late last week, he was not cleared until Tuesday. "It's a new challenge and a new week," Beachum said. "We're in desperate need of a win and I'm excited to be back and be a contributor to that. You have to trust the process, trust the protocol because as much as players want to defy it you have to trust it."
DOING IT TO THEMSELVES
One theory about the Jaguars' early-season offensive struggles has been that defenses are game-planning against quarterback Blake Bortles differently. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson said while the Green Bay Packers indeed defended deep with two safeties in the regular-season opener to defend against the deep pass, that hasn't been a factor the last two games. "There's nothing there that jumps out right now," Olson said. "We talked about self-inflicted errors. A lot of that has been on us. Not to take away anything from the opponents, but I think there's a lot of things that we're going to clean up."
BACK AT IT
Linebacker Hayes Pullard III practiced limited after missing Wednesday's practice with an ankle sprain. He left Sunday's loss to the Ravens after sustaining the injury.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara (hamstring), running back Chris Ivory (ankle/knee), center Brandon Linder (knee) and defensive tackle Malik Jackson (quadriceps) all worked full after being limited in practice Wednesday.
Beachum's return means Luke Joeckel will return to left guard, where he started the first two games of the regular season. Joeckel, the Jaguars' starter at left tackle the past two seasons, played well at tackle this past Sunday – and Bradley said he has played well at both positions this season." He played pretty well at tackle," Bradley said. "For him to play guard and be able to play tackle for us, his value has gone way up."
In addition to Thomas, Odrick and Fowler, linebacker Dan Skuta (hip) and tight end Ben Koyack (meniscus tear) also remained out of practice Wednesday. Koyack missed this past Sunday's game.
"We've had our opportunities at big plays. You saw them in the last game and previous games. At times we're just not connecting on them. You still see the shots being taken. The opportunities are there. We're just not finishing on them."
"He's easy to work with. The guy comes to work every day. He's a worker, always said that. He's had a good week of practice. The start of this [season] certainly has been disappointing to everybody, but it's not just Blake Bortles. We're all involved in this thing, both coaching and playing and every position. It's just a matter of him going out every day trying to be the best player that he can be and he's approached it that way, he's attacked it that way this week and he's had a good week of practice."
--Olson on Bortles