JACKSONVILLE – Opportunity could be at hand for Patrick Omameh.
If so, Omameh said he will be ready – even if the opportunity came about in a way he wouldn't have wanted.
Omameh, a fourth-year veteran who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in June, could be the team's starting left guard against the Chicago Bears Sunday. Fourth-year veteran Luke Joeckel started three of the first four games at left guard and was placed on injured reserve with a knee injury last week.
Omameh played left guard after Joeckel's second-quarter injury against the Colts October 2.
"You have to be prepared for any eventuality," Omameh said Monday as the Jaguars began early preparations for the Bears in the wake of their Week 5 bye. "You never want to see somebody go down, but in this game there's always a contingency plan."
And he indeed is the contingency plan?
"That's what it looks like," Omameh said, also saying, "If something unfortunate does happen, you have to keep pushing forward.
Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley made no official announcement Monday about left guard, but said the team has a "pretty good idea" who will start. Chris Reed started at guard against Baltimore in Week 3 when Joeckel moved to left tackle to replace then-injured starter Kelvin Beachum.
Tyler Shatley also is an option at left guard. Bradley said having had a bye week last week is a positive for whoever starts at the position.
"We'll see how it plays out, but having a week of practice [alongside Beachum] – I think that helps," Bradley said. "You want to try to have those guys play as much ball together as you can."
Beachum said his confidence in Omameh is high.
"I think he's going to do a great job and I'm looking forward to playing next to him," Beachum said, adding with a laugh, "His wife is actually babysitting my daughter, so I have a lot of trust in him."
On the field, Beachum said Omameh "brings a level of consciousness, especially at guard. He's played it for a long time. He's played a lot of games in the NFL. He brings experience and credibility."
Omameh, who played collegiately at the University of Michigan, originally signed with San Francisco as an undrafted free agent following the 2013 NFL Draft. He spent 2013-2014 with Tampa Bay, starting 16 games for the Buccaneers in 2014 and nine for Chicago last season.
The Jaguars on Monday activated cornerback Aaron Colvin to the 53-man roster, waiving fourth-year veteran and former starter Dwayne Gratz to make room.
Colvin, a fourth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, spent the first four games of the regular season suspended for violating the NFL's performance-enhancing substances policy. He has started 16 of 22 career games, including 15 last season. He is expected to play a key role immediately, possibly at nickel corner. Bradley said he expects Colvin to be available Sunday.
Gratz, a third-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, started 25 games in four seasons with the Jaguars.
BACK AT IT
Defensive end Jared Odrick (triceps) and tight end Julius Thomas (elbow) as expected returned to practice during a light, helmets-only workout Monday. The team had announced last week that they were expected to play against the Bears Sunday. Odrick missed the last two games before the bye and Thomas missed one game before the bye.
Safety Tashaun Gipson (knee), wide receiver Rashad Greene (Achilles), tight end Ben Koyack (meniscus tear) and tight end Marcedes Lewis (hip) all missed practice Monday. The team announced last week that Lewis is expected to play against the Bears.
Bradley said Gipson and Greene are considered questionable for Sunday.
The Jaguars spent the latter part of the bye week discussing contingency plans had they been forced to practice away from EverBank Field this week because of Hurricane Matthew. "There were a lot of things going on," Bradley said. "I think we're all just grateful it worked out." Bradley said one contingency included practicing in Atlanta.
Bradley didn't specify the extent of linebacker Myles Jack's role moving forward, saying the rookie played "kind of as anticipated" against Indianapolis in his first NFL start. Jack started at the Otto position in place of Dan Skuta, who missed the Colts game with a hip injury. "He did some really good things," Bradley said of Jack. "There were a couple of plays that he has to understand that if teams see that on tape they'll keep attacking it. So, we need to see those corrections. We'll continue to evaluate that, but I would look for him to play more Otto."
"We had some tough conversations. Here's a guy who did everything for the team. He competed at left tackle. He played at left guard and did some good things at left guard. We were excited about him and his versatility. … He did everything right. It's not supposed to work out this way with a guy who does everything like that. It's very unfortunate. We'll stay strong with him and handle this whole ordeal with him."
--Bradley on Joeckel
"If we can run the ball and make good decisions with the ball and take care of the ball, I think we play very well. Obviously, we have to get a chance for explosive plays. That's a part of it, but it's making good decisions and being efficient … if we play efficient football then we have a chance to do some really good things."