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First off the Field: Marks could play Sunday


JACKSONVILLE – Sen'Derrick Marks showed serious strides on Wednesday.

That was a good sign for the Jaguars' veteran defensive tackle, as well as welcome news for a team with a lengthy, notable injury report.

Marks, who has yet to play this season while rehabilitating from reconstructive knee surgery, practiced full in a padded practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields Wednesday. That was the first time the seventh-year veteran practiced full this season.

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said Marks could play Sunday.

"I think it (Wednesday) was a big step for him," Bradley said as the Jaguars (1-4) prepared to play the Houston Texans (1-4) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

Marks, the team's sacks leader last year said earlier in the day he was approaching the practice as a game day. He said he wanted to show he trusted the knee and that he was willing to plant and push without hesitation.

"I think I see him kind of fighting through that block a little bit and gaining confidence in it," Bradley said.

Images from Wednesday's practice as the Jaguars begin preparations for the Houston Texans.

Quarterback Blake Bortles also worked full after sustaining a Grade 1 AC joint sprain in his throwing shoulder against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday, with running back Denard Robinson (knee), tight end Julius Thomas and cornerback Aaron Colvin (shoulder) also working full.

Bradley said he was "very pleased" with Bortles in practice Wednesday.

"It was great," Bradley said. "Any time you can get practice reps it's good, especially for a guy like Blake."

Robinson has been out since Week 2 with a sprained medial collateral ligament while Thomas and Colvin worked full Wednesday wearing red, non-contact jerseys.

"It was good to see him," Bradley said of Robinson. "For him – like Sen'Derrick – he gained confidence in it. He had a good day."

While the above-mentioned players worked full, nine players missed practice:

Defensive end Chris Clemons (veteran day off), wide receiver Allen Hurns (ankle/thigh), wide receiver Marqise Lee (hamstring), right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee), running back Bernard Pierce (concussion), middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (ankle), running back T.J. Yeldon (groin), defensive tackle Abry Jones (knee) and safety James Sample (shoulder).

Cornerback Davon House (hip contusion), offensive tackle Sam Young (illness) and offensive lineman Luke Bowanko (stinger) were limited Wednesday.

Bradley said he expected Parnell to play Sunday. Young worked in Parnell's place before leaving with the illness.

After Young left, Bowanko worked at right tackle. Bowanko, who competed with Steve Wisniewski for the Jaguars' starting center position throughout training camp, worked at guard, center and tackle Wednesday.

"He's come along now," Bradley said of Bowanko. "He had a good week of practice last week. He's doing a good job."

With Yeldon missing practice – and with Robinson returning after a three-week absence – running back is a concern this week. Pierce is in the concussion program after sustaining thigh and head injuries Sunday, leaving Toby Gerhart and rookie Corey Grant as the team's two healthy backs.

The team signed running back Joe Banyard to the practice squad Tuesday morning, and Gerhart took first-team repetitions Wednesday. Yeldon participated in the team's Wednesday morning walkthrough.

Gerhart started seven games for the Jaguars last season, rushing for 326 yards and two touchdowns on 101 carries last season. He has rushed for 10 yards on five carries this season.

"Here's the challenge for Toby: Toby is playing a lot of special teams, then he goes in there in certain situations as a running back," Bradley said. "I think he's getting acclimated to that. Here he is running down the length of the field on punt and kickoff – probably something he hasn't done much – and I think he's getting used to that, then transferring over (to running back).

"There's a little bit of an adjustment period, but he practices good. This is a time for him to get some reps and he's pretty excited."

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