JACKSONVILLE – Allen Hurns is confident he will play Sunday.
The Jaguars' third-year wide receiver took a step toward being able to do that when he was cleared to practice on a limited basis Thursday.
Hurns missed practice Wednesday after being placed in the NFL's concussion protocol Sunday. He sustained the injury when he hit his head on the turf in a loss to Kansas City.
"I've been relieved this whole week because I knew it wasn't going to be a long turnaround," Hurns said Thursday as the Jaguars (2-6) prepared to play the Houston Texans (5-3) at EverBank Field in Jacksonville Sunday at 1 p.m.
Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said Hurns' limited status meant he did some light running and catching Thursday.
"He looked pretty good [in] what he could do," Bradley said.
Hurns, who has 31 receptions for 443 yards and two touchdowns in eight games this season, has missed just one game in three NFL seasons. That came last season, when he missed a December loss at Tennessee after sustaining a concussion the previous week against San Diego.
Hurns must clear one more step in the league's protocol before being cleared to play.
This is new offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett's second week in the position, and Bradley this week said Hackett is still implementing some of the details of his philosophy and approach.
Hackett said Thursday while players missing practice is "always a challenge," Hurns is the sort of player who can prepare effectively while not practicing full each day of the week.
"Anytime you don't have that practice aspect you have to go on feel and hope and maybe," Hackett said. "I think Hurns is a guy that has played a lot of football, even up to this point in his young career, so I'm not too worried about it, but would love to have him out there."
Hurns missed practice on a regular basis last season while playing through a sports hernia that required offseason surgery. He also caught four passes for 45 yards against Oakland earlier this season after being limited in practice that week with a shoulder/neck issue.
"He's tough," Bradley said of Hurns. "You can't ever count him out, but I think we've also got to learn to take care of him. He plays aggressive – his style of blocking and running routes. He's not afraid to go across the middle. I think it's just we've got to be smart with him as well, but yeah, he's relentless."
Left tackle Kelvin Beachum's not ready to say the season is over – even at 2-6 and even in last place in the AFC South. "As bad as we've played, we still have a chance," Beachum said. "The division is still up for grabs and the playoffs are still in contention whether some people believe it or not. I said it on the radio other day and some people were like, 'You've got mustard seed faith.' No, I'm being serious. There's still a chance. In the National Football League, you still have a chance. There have been teams that have found a way to turn this stuff around. Why can't it be us this year?'' The Jaguars trail the Texans by three games in the AFC South. If the Jaguars win Sunday, the margin would be two games and the Jaguars would have a 2-1 record in the division with games remaining against all three division teams – Tennessee, Indianapolis and Houston.
BACK AT IT
Strong safety Johnathan Cyprien practiced full Thursday after missing practice Wednesday with a lower leg injury, and linebacker Myles Jack (hip) and offensive tackle Jeremy Parnell (knee) both practiced limited after missing Wednesday.
Center Brandon Linder (hand) worked limited for a second consecutive day Thursday, as did Beachum (knee) and defensive end Jared Odrick (foot).
Free safety Tashaun Gipson was added to the injury report with a hamstring issue Thursday and linebacker Arthur Brown was added with an ankle injury. Both worked limited Thursday.
Wide receiver Bryan Walters missed a second consecutive day while in the concussion protocol and defensive end Chris Smith (eye) missed practice after being limited Wednesday.
"It's obviously always about the quarterback. It's about the quarterback getting into a comfort level to help the pass game. If he is comfortable then you always have a chance to get some big hits and some good completions. I think when you get the run game that's always the time where the quarterback can go 'ahhh' and he can relax. … You want to have some kind of security blanket and I think when that run game goes it's always going to help the offense."
--Hackett on the importance of continuing to run effectively