JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines the day that was around EverBank Field Wednesday as the Jaguars prepared to play the Houston Texans – with an eye on the status of running back Chris Ivory
IVORY STILL UNCERTAIN
The Jaguars' injury report remains lengthy.
And one of the biggest uncertainties remains one of the keys to the team's running game.
Jaguars running back Chris Ivory, who has missed each of the last two games with a hamstring injury sustained early in a November 27 loss at Buffalo, continued to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday afternoon. Head Coach Gus Bradley said Ivory's status remains uncertain.
"We'll see," Bradley said of Ivory's status as the Jaguars (2-11) prepared to play the Houston Texans (7-6) at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, Sunday at 1 p.m.
Ivory, who has rushed for 350 yards on 93 carries this season including 221 yards on 53 carries in four games just before the injury, practiced limited twice last week before being a game-day inactive for the Jaguars' loss to Minnesota this past Sunday.
Bradley said Ivory ran on the side in practice Wednesday.
"We'll see how he handled it and go from there tomorrow," Bradley said.
Running back T.J. Yeldon, who has shared time with Ivory when the two both have been healthy this season, practiced full Wednesday and was not on the injury report after dealing with an ankle issue for three weeks. Corey Grant and Bronson Hill also remain on the active roster.
Third-team running back Denard Robinson missed Sunday with a high-ankle sprain and did not practice Wednesday.
BACK AT IT
Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (neck/shoulder) was one of 10 Jaguars players practicing limited Wednesday. He expressed surprise after practice that he was limited and said he absolutely will play against the Texans.
Offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum (knee) also practiced limited Wednesday, as did tight end Ben Koyack (knee), wide receiver Arrelious Benn (shoulder), wide receiver Marqise Lee (finger), strong safety Johnathan Cyprien (shoulder), safety Peyton Thompson (ankle), defensive tackle Abry Jones (knee) and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (ankle).
Quarterback Blake Bortles (right shoulder) and defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (shoulder) practiced full Wednesday.
Wide receiver Allen Hurns (hamstring) and Robinson (ankle) were among three Jaguars players missing practice Wednesday. Hurns has missed the last two games.
Offensive guard Chris Reed missed practice with a toe injury Wednesday.
Bradley said Jeremiah Poutasi is an option at guard if Reed can't play, and he said three-year veteran Luke Bowanko also is a possibility.
Bowanko, who started 14 games at center as a rookie in 2014, spent the first 12 games of the season on the physically unable to perform list with a hip injury.
Tackling as expected was a major topic as the Jaguars began preparing for Houston. Texans running back Lamar Miller is the NFL's sixth-leading rusher, and the Jaguars will face him in the wake of one of their worst tackling performances of the season. "When you're going into a game like this with a team that is committed like they are to run the ball, we have to be on our tackling," Bradley said. The Jaguars missed 14 tackles against the Vikings Sunday, with Bradley on Wednesday saying the primary issues were angles and leverage as opposed to technique. "A lot of it is just leverage," Bradley said. "I think when you saw the game it wasn't the actual tackling or a guy breaking a tackle, it was more in space and understanding leverage." Bradley said while teams do minimal tackling and contact in practice, leverage issues are "things you can work on with pads or without pads. We had to recommit back to that."
Hurns in three NFL seasons has been one of the Jaguars' most durable players. He missed one game in his first two seasons, which has made missing consecutive games for the first time in recent weeks particularly difficult. "I only made one goal before the season started and that's playing every game," he said. "It's always tough. The hardest part is seeing the team practice and not being able to be out there on game day. It's frustrating. I'm doing everything in my power to try to get back as soon as possible."
"Getting a win period would be better than losing anymore. If we can win out, which we're trying to do, and end the season with five wins – and gain momentum – that would be ideal."
--Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson
"Our turnover differential is what's dictating the outcome of the season right now."
--Posluszny on the team's minus-17 giveaway/takeaway ratio