JACKSONVILLE – The pads came off while preparations continued.
Not that the Jaguars went all-out on Wednesday in preparing or game-planning for the New York Giants. That level of preparation doesn't happen for Preseason Week 2.
But Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said that while resting several players in a Wednesday practice that featured shorts and helmets, the Jaguars continued taking an early look at their second opponent of the 2015 preseason.
Bradley said the Jaguars had two periods focusing on the Giants Wednesday – up from one period on Tuesday – in addition to working in the red zone, an area the team has emphasized much of the last week and a half.
"Almost every day we've had some sort of a red-zone opportunity," Bradley said following a two-hour, 20-minute practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields.
Wednesday's work again featured four front-line players in red, non-contact jerseys: tight end Julius Thomas (hand), safety Johnathan Cyprien, safety James Sample (arm) and running back T.J. Yeldon. Thomas and Cyprien sustained injuries in a preseason-opening victory over Pittsburgh and are expected to miss the rest of the preseason while Sample is returning from a broken arm sustained in organized team activities. Sample is aiming to play against the Detroit Lions in Preseason Week 3.
Yeldon sustained a finger injury in the team's August 8 scrimmage at EverBank Field. He has worked in a red jersey since and Bradley on Wednesday said his status for Saturday remains uncertain.
"That one might be closer to game time," Bradley said.
The Jaguars also had several players with veterans days off Wednesday, a list that included cornerback Aaron Colvin, wide receiver Arrelious Benn, wide receiver Allen Robinson, wide receiver Allen Hurns and defensive end Ryan Davis. Linebacker LaRoy Reynolds missed with an illness.
"We had three really challenging practices if you look at Monday, yesterday and today," Bradley said. "We pushed them through."
Bradley said the relatively high number of veterans days off was about managing players with past injury issues and preventing wear-and-tear injuries. The Jaguars monitor practice workload through GPS systems.
"It's kind of a combination of GPS and what they've done the last couple of days, so we just felt like we should give them the day off if we could," Bradley said.
Wide receiver Marqise Lee, rookie wide receiver Neal Sterling and cornerback Peyton Thompson remained out of practice with hamstring injuries.
Lee sustained a hamstring injury two weeks ago and has been considered week to week since. Bradley said he has been told that Lee is progressing well.
"We were hoping for four weeks where it could be 6-to-8, somewhere in there," Bradley said. "Everything now is back to where it's four weeks and leaning more toward that, so that's a good sign."
Bradley also said Wednesday the hope is to get defensive end Chris Clemons into team repetitions by next week. The 12-year veteran has worked in individual work this week after spending the first two-and-a-half weeks of camp on the active non-football injury list.