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First off the field: A little healthier

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JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars looked a bit more like themselves Sunday.

That's because three players expected to make key contributions this season – including two on the offensive line – returned to practice two days after the team's scrimmage Friday.

The practice came a day after a players off day Saturday.

"It felt like it was a little sluggish at times during practice," Head Coach Gus Bradley said after the Jaguars worked for about two hours, 15 minutes in 81-degree temperatures that felt like 87.

Offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum and center Brandon Linder, both of whom are expected to start this season, returned to practice as the Jaguars worked in full pads Sunday on the practice fields adjacent to EverBank Field. Beachum had missed the last three days of practice; Linder missed the last two.

Wide receiver Marqise Lee, expected to play a key role as a third receiver, also returned to practice. He had missed the last seven practices with a hamstring issue.

All three worked in individual drills Sunday and did not work in team drills.

Beachum, expected to compete with Luke Joeckel for starting left tackle, worked only in individual drills and did not work in one-on-one pass rushing drills. He has yet to take full contact while the team continues to be cautious in his return from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that kept him out of the last 10 games with Pittsburgh last season.

"He's progressing," Bradley said of Beachum. "You saw him out here today. He was in full pads doing some work. That's part of the progression. Hopefully it continues to where we get him out on the field at least for some individual [work] shortly here."

Bradley said Beachum is unlikely to play in the Jaguars' preseason opener against the New York Jets at Met Life Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Thursday. He did not rule out the possibility of Beachum playing. He also did not rule Lee out of Thursday's game. 

Joeckel continues to work at both guard and tackle, with Joeckel getting extensive work at guard in the last few days. Josh Wells has worked at first-team left tackle with Beachum not working.

"You would like to get him on the field more and see that," Bradley said of Beachum. "It also gives us a chance to see Wells at left tackle and Luke at left tackle. We don't want to miss those things. Through it all, we'll see how it shakes out, but we want to take this time to build depth, too."

INJURY WATCH

Beachum, Lee and Linder all returned but stayed out of team drills. Wide receiver Shaq Evans missed a fourth consecutive day with a lower-leg issue.

Safeties Tashaun Gipson and safety Johnathan Cyprien had planned days off.

Offensive lineman Luke Bowanko (ankle) and defensive end Jonathan Woodard (Achilles) remain on the Physically Unable to Perform list.

PLAY OF THE DAY

Veteran middle linebacker Paul Posluszny not only had the play of the day, he had a couple of big plays in the same drill late in practice.

The biggest play came when Posluszny intercepted Blake Bortles in a red-zone drill. After defensive tackle Malik Jackson beat Joeckel and pressured Bortles, the quarterback threw to the right. Posluszny returned the interception for what would have been a length-of-the-field touchdown.

Posluszny intercepted Bortles again in the end zone three plays later in the same drill.

HIGHLIGHTS

*Tight end Julius Thomas caught a touchdown pass from Bortles in the front corner of the end zone in red-zone work. …

*Wide receiver Bryan Walters had a nice touchdown in the middle of the field in red-zone work on a reception from backup quarterback Chad Henne. …

*Reserve safety Josh Evans had a pass breakup defending wide receiver Allen Hurns in the end zone during red-zone drills. …

*Hurns caught a touchdown in the back of the end zone from Bortles during red-zone work. …

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