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First off field: Yeldon not ruled out


JACKSONVILLE – T.J. Yeldon's status is uncertain for Sunday. Very uncertain.

Yeldon, the Jaguars' rookie running back, missed practice Wednesday with a sprained knee sustained Sunday against Indianapolis. But if indications are that Yeldon won't play against Atlanta Sunday, Head Coach Gus Bradley isn't seeing that way.

Bradley on Wednesday said he considered Yeldon day to day.

"I'm generally pretty positive when it comes to it," Bradley said Wednesday as the Jaguars (5-8) prepared to play the Atlanta Falcons (6-7) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

"Where I've seen him when he came (in) on Monday to where he is now, I've seen him really progress. Knowing T.J. the short time I have, he recovers quickly.

"Where his conversation was Monday to today is different, so we'll see."

Yeldon, a starter in 12 of 13 games this season, has rushed for 740 yards and two touchdowns on 142 carries. He rushed for 62 yards on 11 carries before sustaining the knee injury Sunday.

Denard Robinson, the Jaguars' backup running back, will start if Yeldon can't play. He rushed for 75 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries Sunday, and has rushed for 196 yards on 42 carries this season.

"I prepare to be ready for anything," Robinson said. "It's just another week: be ready. You just keep doing what you do and stay focused."

Robinson started nine games last season, rushing for 582 yards and four touchdowns on 135 carries before missing the last three games of the season with a sprained foot.

"D-Rob's a great back," Jaguars left tackle Luke Joeckel said. "He had the opportunity to step in this week and get carries, and he made the best of it. That's exactly what you ask of any running back – whenever you get the carries, go out and make the best of it.

"As an offensive lineman, it doesn't really change for us, but D-Rob did a great job of making guys miss and hitting the holes, and it was fun to watch."

Robinson's role has been limited this season with Yeldon emerging as the go-to, every-down back. But Bradley said this week Robinson – who played quarterback at the University of Michigan before playing sparingly as a running back as a rookie in 2013 – has matured as a runner.

Robinson agreed.

"I feel like I've grown as a player and a running back," said Robinson, who played receiver, running back and some Wildcat quarterback as a rookie before essentially being moved to running back full time before last season.

Bradley on Wednesday said Robinson handled an increased workload well last week, and said Robinson is capable of playing 60 or so plays if necessary.

"I think he can handle it: where we do that or not, we'll see," Bradley said, adding, "That opportunity (last Sunday) really helped him."

The Jaguars in the wake of Yeldon's injury on Tuesday signed second-year running back Jonas Gray to the active roster from the Miami Dolphins' practice squad. Gray (5-feet-10, 225 pounds) has played in 14 NFL games, rushing 120 times for 534 yards. He started three games for New England last season, rushing for 412 yards in eight games and was named AFC Offensive Player of the Week after a 37-carry, 201-yard, four-touchdown performance at Indianapolis in November.

Gray practiced with the Jaguars Wednesday, and Bradley said Gray's experience appears to be helping him quickly learn the offense.

"I was pretty pleased with how he was today," Bradley said Wednesday. "What I saw there today in the limited time – he jumped in and took right off with it. I think he's going to be a quick study."

Yeldon was among four Jaguars players missing practice Wednesday, with defensive end Ryan Davis (knee) and wide receiver Allen Hurns (thigh/ankle) also missing practice because of injuries. Defensive end Chris Clemons missed with a veteran day off. Davis missed Sunday with the injury, but Hurns has played through his injuries much of the season.

Tight end Nic Jacobs (hamstring), wide receiver Bryan Walters (back), cornerback Dwayne Gratz (hamstring) and defensive end Andre Branch (groin) all worked limited Wednesday. Jacobs and Walters each missed Sunday's victory over the Colts while Gratz and Branch played Sunday.

Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny, who missed the Colts game with a fractured hand sustained the previous week against Tennessee, practiced full Wednesday.

"He did good," Bradley said. "The way he moved – it looked like he had fresh legs, to be honest with you. He looked good."

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