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First off the Field: Luke Joeckel improving


JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars may not be without their left tackle after all.

Starting left offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, who left a loss to Miami this past Sunday with a concussion, missed practice Wednesday but has been cleared to practice on a non-contact basis beginning Thursday, the team announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Joeckel has not been ruled out for Sunday's game at Cincinnati.

"It's good," Head Coach Gus Bradley said Wednesday as the Jaguars (1-7) prepared to play the Cincinnati Bengals (4-2-1) at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, Sunday at 1 p.m.

"He still has another couple of things he has to go through (in the NFL's concussion protocol), but for this late in the week for him to have a chance to play on Sunday is great."

Bradley said rookie free agent Josh Wells, who played in Joeckel's place Sunday, likely will start at left tackle against Cincinnati if Joeckel can't play. Wells allowed one sack against Miami, but overall Bradley said he played well.

Wells (6-feet-6, 310 pounds) signed as a free agent from James Madison shortly after the 2014 NFL Draft. He has played four games this season, but Sunday was his first extensive action at left tackle. He played 56 plays.

"He did pretty good," Bradley said. "He gave up one, but other than that, I thought he did a nice job."

Bradley also addressed the Jaguars' mounting injuries defensively.

A little more than a week after the Jaguars placed starting middle linebacker Paul Posluszny on injured reserve with a torn pectoral, the Jaguars on Wednesday placed starting cornerback Alan Ball on injured reserve with a biceps injury.

"That's a tough one, just like with Poz," Bradley said. "He was important to us and our success that we had in the secondary, but another guy will stand up and we'll move on. It does give opportunities to other guys."

Also, Bradley returned to EverBank Field Tuesday after missing Monday with the flu. He ran practice and meetings as normal on Wednesday.

"It was exciting to be back with the guys," Bradley said. "Any time you come off a tough one like we did at home, you want to see how they respond. Once again, great enthusiasm, great spirit about them and great attention to detail."

Also around the Jaguars Wednesday:

*Cornerback Aaron Colvin practiced limited for a second consecutive Wednesday. Colvin, a rookie who has been on the Physically Unable to Perform list since training camp, worked on a limited basis last Wednesday before missing practice the rest of the week. He said Wednesday he expects to practice the rest of this week and Bradley on Wednesday did not rule out Colvin playing Sunday. …

*Will Blackmon, the Jaguars' nickel corner the first eight games of the season, underwent surgery on a fractured left index finger Tuesday. He is expected to miss extended time. Bradley on Wednesday said safety Sherrod Martin was a possibility at nickel, as well as cornerback Peyton Thompson or Colvin. "We've got some guys we're looking at," Bradley said. …

*Bradley said the coaching staff is trying to figure a way to get linebacker Jeremiah George playing time. George was signed off the New York Jets' practice squad September 23 and Bradley said the challenge at linebacker remains getting "our best three on the field." Of George, Bradley said, "He's showing up in practice." …

*Tight end Marcedes Lewis practiced on a limited basis. The nine-year veteran is on the injured reserve-designated to return list with a high-ankle sprain, and can be activated for the team's November 23 game at Indianapolis. "He was pretty excited to be out there," Bradley said.

*Cornerback Dwayne Gratz moved back into the starting lineup on with the Jaguars placing Ball on injured reserve Wednesday. Gratz started 10 games last season and the first three this season before sustaining a Week 4 concussion at San Diego. He played as a reserve behind Demetrius McCray in Weeks 6-8, but will start opposite McCray with Ball out. "We're always ready," McCray said. "We're always ready to compete."

*Gratz worked limited with a groin injury on Wednesday, and wide receiver Allen Hurns (ankle) also worked limited. Wide receiver Cecil Shorts worked full (groin). …

*Defensive end Andre Branch (groin) missed practice. He missed Sunday's game against Miami and is expected to miss about five more weeks. …

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