Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

First off the Field: Back to work


JACKSONVILLE – The focus isn't entirely on Sunday. Not yet.

But while Gus Bradley said the Jaguars worked mostly on themselves on "Bonus Monday," the third-year head coach said the team did on Monday cast an eye briefly toward Sunday's regular-season opener.

The Jaguars open the regular season against the defending NFC South Champion Carolina Panthers at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

"We did have a period – just an introduction of Carolina," Bradley said after the Jaguars worked for about one hour, 25 minutes at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields Monday. "As the week goes on, we'll see more and more emphasis starting Wednesday.

"Players have a day off (Tuesday), then it will be like a normal week for us."

Bradley said the Jaguars had Friday and Saturday off following Thursday's preseason-ending victory at Washington, then ran during a brief workout Sunday.

The Jaguars on Monday also took a step toward getting healthier for the opener, with running back Toby Gerhart practicing on a limited basis with an abdominal strain sustained in the second game of the preseason August 22 against the New York Giants.

Gerhart said Monday he expects to play against Carolina.

"He did individual (Monday), but he's really progressed," Bradley said. "He felt good, so we'll take another step with him Wednesday."

Gerhart is expected to be part of the team's front-line running back rotation, with rookie T.J. Yeldon the probable starter and third-year veteran Denard Robinson the backup. Gerhart likely will work as the third-down/short-yardage running back, a role he held much of the preseason.

Also on Monday, the following players missed practice:

Wide receiver Bryan Walters (hamstring), defensive tackle Michael Bennett (leg), tight end Julius Thomas (hand), defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks, linebacker LaRoy Reynolds (knee), defensive end Andre Branch (knee) and wide receiver Marqise Lee (hamstring). Practice-squad players Craig Loston (safety, ankle) and Peyton Thompson (cornerback, hamstring) also missed practice.

Safety Johnathan Cyprien (finger) practiced in a red, non-contact jersey and worked full. Jaguars General Manager David Caldwell said Saturday Cyprien is expected to play against Carolina wearing a protective device.

Thomas, Branch and Marks are not expected to play in the regular-season opener, while Lee – out since the first week of training camp – is considered 50-50 for Sunday.

"Lee is still up in the air," Bradley said.

Take a look at images as the Jaguars hit the Florida Blue Practice fields for an abbreviated Labor Day practice.

Also on Monday, Bradley said the Jaguars could look to add a third quarterback to the practice squad. Stephen Morris, the third-team quarterback who started and played the entire Jaguars' preseason-ending victory over Washington, was released Friday and signed to the Philadelphia Eagles' active roster Sunday. Backup quarterback Chad Henne took second-team reps in 7-on-7 Monday.

"We're open to that," Bradley said of an additional quarterback. "(General Manager) Dave (Caldwell) and the scouts are taking a look at some. We have some options we're looking at right now."

Bradley also said with the injuries to Lee and Walters, rookie cornerback Nick Marshall could take repetitions in practice at wide receiver.

"You could see some things like that take place just so we don't tax our guys that are going to be playing," Bradley said.

Bradley also said Marshall and running back Denard Robinson – each of whom played quarterback in college – could take reps for the scout team to replicate the speed and athleticism of Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.

Also on Monday, Bradley said rookie Corey Grant – who made the team as an undrafted rookie free agent – is expected to handle the kickoff return role.

"Right now, he's the guy that's slated to do that," Bradley said.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content