JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars got the news they wanted regarding Will Rackley.
Rackley, the Jaguars' starting left offensive guard, likely will be ready to return for the regular-season opener September 8 after sustaining an ankle injury in the team's preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles Saturday, Head Coach Gus Bradley said early Monday afternoon.
Bradley said the team initially thought the injury could be worse, or that it could be to the knee area.
"We're happy to hear it's just a sprained ankle," Bradley said after two-hour practice at the Florida Blue practice fields Monday.
"He'll be out this week, but there's a good chance we'll have him back for Kansas City next week."
Rackley attended practice Monday and walked with a limp, but was not wearing a protective boot. Second-year veteran Mike Brewster played in his place Saturday.
Bradley said he doesn't anticipate running back Maurice Jones-Drew playing on Thursday in the final preseason game against Atlanta Thursday. He played seven plays in Preseason Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins and a series this past week against the New York Jets.
Second-year wide receiver Justin Blackmon missed the early part of practice because he was "handling some personal business," Bradley said, adding that rookie safety Josh Evans missed practice for personal reasons and could miss "a couple of days."
"We were aware of both situations," Bradley said. "We wish them both the best handling these things."
Running back Justin Forsett (toe) remained out of practice, but ran on the side beforehand. Defensive tackle Brandon Deaderick (groin) and tight end Isaiah Stanback (groin) practiced.
Safety Chris Prosinski missed practice while being evaluated for a concussion. Defensive end Jeremy Mincey did not practice because of a skin ailment.
"I give him a lot of credit," Bradley said of Mincey. "He fought through a lot in the game (Saturday) and we appreciate that."
The Jaguars practiced a day after making 13 roster moves, a day that included the release of long-time long snapper Jeremy Cain and the placement of rookie cornerback Jeremy Harris (back) on injured reserve. Rookie Carson Tinker remains the team's lone long snapper.
"He's a good player," Bradley said of Cain. "It was a very competitive situation."
The Jaguars are scheduled to practice at 9:55 Tuesday and will leave for Atlanta Wednesday afternoon. They play the Falcons in the final 2013 preseason game Thursday.
Cornerback Kevin Rutland (quadricep) remained out of practice, as did tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf). Bradley said Forsett and Lewis are improving. Bradley said the team is being cautious with Forsett and Lewis and that he anticipates each being back for Kansas City.
Bradley said Rutland may or may not be held out this week, and said that linebacker Russell Allen was held out with the aftereffects of a recent ankle injury. Linebacker Brandon Marshall worked in Allen's place at strong-side linebacker.
"We're being cautious with him," Bradley said of Allen.
PLAY OF THE DAY
Blackmon dropped two passes upon arriving in practice, then turned in a solid reception that was one of the highlight plays of a shorter practice Monday.
Blackmon ran a route toward the left side of the field and caught a pass from Chad Henne in the left side of the end zone for a touchdown. Blackmon caught four passes for 50 yards and a 17-yard touchdown against Philadelphia Saturday.
1.Bradley said quarterback Blaine Gabbert should be able to start gripping the ball with his right hand this week. He missed the game Saturday with a sprained right thumb after being named the starter the previous Monday. "That's the last phase of his rehab," Bradley said of the gripping process. Bradley said the plan remains for Gabbert to start the opener, but that the team also has the option of going with backup Chad Henne. "We're optimistic," Bradley said, adding, "We're ready either way. The information we're getting is right in line with what we thought immediately."
2.Rookie Ace Sanders left practice after hitting his knuckle on the grass Monday. Bradley said trainers told him Sanders "should be OK."
LOOKING ON . . .
*Practice took on a noticeably smaller feel Monday, with 13 players who were on the roster last week no longer around. That was particularly true of the specialist group, which after having had seven players much of camp has been reduced to three – kicker Josh Scobee, punter Bryan Anger and long snapper Tinker. The Jaguars must reduce the roster from 75 to 53 this weekend.