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First off the field: Belief is Hurns will play Sunday


JACKSONVILLE – His head coach believes strongly in Allen Hurns.

His teammates do, too. So, although the second-year wide receiver missed a second consecutive practice Thursday, no one around the Jaguars is ruling him out for Sunday.

Not Head Coach Gus Bradley.

And certainly not his wide receiver mate, Allen Robinson.

"When it comes to this week, I've got a good feeling you'll see him (Hurns)," Robinson said as the Jaguars (2-6) prepared to play the Baltimore Ravens (2-6) at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland, Sunday at 1 p.m.

Bradley also said he believes Hurns has a very good chance to play Sunday.

"He's progressing," Bradley said, adding. "He seems to be doing good."

Hurns has missed Wednesday practice before playing the following Sunday three times this season – in Weeks 5, 6 and 7 against the Buccaneers, Bills and Jets. He practiced limited on Thursday on those occasions.

Hurns, a starter in all eight games this season, has 36 receptions for 635 yards and six touchdowns with a touchdown in each of the last six games. That's a franchise record for consecutive games with at least one touchdown reception.

Hurns never has missed a game in a season and a half in the NFL.

"Ideally, you'd like to have him practice, but he has shown over the past couple of weeks that we can do this and he comes out and performs at a high level," Bradley said. "We're continuing it to make sure he's healthy. The good thing is he really studies, he prepares and he's really involved.

"Even though he's not taking the rep, he walks out to where he would go, talks to the receiver and talks him through it, so he gets everything but the rep."

If Hurns can't play, that could mean an expanded role for veteran Bryan Walters, who has caught 24 passes for 282 yards and a touchdown while playing mostly as a third, slot receiver. Rookie seventh-round selection Neil Sterling, activated from the practice squad in Week 7, also is an option.

Another possibility is second-year veteran Marqise Lee.

Take a look at images from Thursday's practice.

Lee, who has missed the last five games and six of eight games this season with a hamstring injury, practiced limited for a second consecutive day. He also worked limited last Friday, with that practice his first since Week 3.

The Jaguars limited Lee's repetitions Thursday.

"We kind of have a plan with him, certain periods we want him to get in and see how he (does)," Bradley said. "It appeared on the field he did a pretty good job, so that was a good sign."

Hurns was among three Jaguars players not practicing Thursday, with Otto linebacker Dan Skuta (groin) and defensive tackle Michael Bennett (hamstring) also missing practice. Rookie safety James Sample (shoulder) worked limited, with tight end Julius Thomas (abdomen), running back Toby Gerhart (abdomen), offensive guard Zane Beadles (knee) and wide receiver Rashad Greene (thumb) working full.

Rookie Thurston Armbrister could start at the Otto if Skuta can't play. He has worked there in recent weeks after starting at middle linebacker in place of injured Paul Posluszny in Week 5 against Tampa Bay.

"It is a new position," Bradley said of Armbrister. "I'm glad he's been there for four or five weeks now, so that's helpful for him."

Greene remains on the injured-reserve-designated-to-return list, and will be eligible to play Thursday against the Tennessee Titans at EverBank Field.

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