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First off the field: Progress continues for Lee


JACKSONVILLE – The wait isn't yet over for Marqise Lee.

But the progress continues, and when speaking to the media Wednesday afternoon, Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley in no way ruled the second-year wide receiver out for Sunday.

Lee, whose presence would be a step toward the Jaguars' offense finally reaching full strength, practiced on a limited basis Wednesday. He also took repetitions in team work.

That was his most extensive work since Week 3, and marked another step toward returning for a player whose hamstring issue has forced him to miss the last five games.

Lee has missed six of eight games this season.

"He looked pretty good," Head Coach Gus Bradley said of Lee Wednesday 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.

"Every day we'll try to progress him along. Last week he didn't get any reps in team; he did some walkthrough. This week, we'll get him a few reps, see how he handles it and just go from there."

Lee and rookie safety James Sample (shoulder) both worked limited Wednesday. Sample, out the last four games, said he is improving and may be a game-time decision; Lee said although his playing status will be determined by trainers and coaches, he again remains hopeful he will play.

"I think we'll keep progressing and see," Bradley said of Lee. "I think we've been really smart with how we've handled him up to this point, so we're just trying to be patient and see how he handled it today. If he handled it pretty good, maybe increase a few reps tomorrow and just continue with that progression."

The Jaguars this season have dealt with a slew of injuries, including several to offensive skill players. Tight end Julius Thomas missed the first four games of the season, and Lee played only Weeks 2 and 3. Running back T.J. Yeldon missed Week 6 with a groin injury and backup running back Denard Robinson was out Weeks 3-5 with a knee injury.

Wide receiver Rashad Greene has been out the last six weeks with a thumb injury.

With Greene expected to be removed from injured reserve-designated to return next Thursday against Tennessee – and with Lee appearing close to returning – the Jaguars soon could have all skill players healthy for the first time this season.

Otto linebacker Dan Skuta (groin) missed practice Wednesday after being injured in the second half of a loss to the Jets Sunday, while defensive tackle Michael Bennett (hamstring), defensive end Chris Clemons (veteran day off) and wide receiver Allen Hurns (foot/thigh) missed practice. Bennett and Hurns were injured Sunday.

Skuta started the first eight games of the season at Otto, and Bradley said rookie Thurston Armbrister would start if Skuta can't play Sunday. Armbrister played for Skuta late against the Jets.

Bradley said Skuta's ability to set the edge at the Otto position has been key for the Jaguars' seventh-ranked run defense.

"He's done exactly what we had hoped for," Bradley said. "During training camp he was trying to get a feel for the defense what we were asking of him. He's a player that once he felt that comfort level, he's played even faster. I think since the start of the season he's played really well for us."

Also on Wednesday:

*Bradley praised the play of nose tackle Roy Miller. Asked if any Jaguars player was playing as well defensively as Miller, Bradley said, "I would it hard to believe. I think he's playing that well." Miller, a seventh-year veteran, played through shoulder and knee issues the past two seasons after signing with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in 2013. "I think that's the biggest part of it, first and foremost – his health," Bradley said. "He's playing very, very well for us."

*Thomas (abdomen), guard Zane Beadles (knee), running back Toby Gerhart (groin) and Greene (thumb) all were listed as working full Wednesday. Beadles played through foot and knee issues Sunday while Gerhart was inactive with abdomen issues that Bradley said have lingered much of the season. "It's hard, because he goes through practice and he does everything we're asking him," Bradley said of Gerhart. "But I think he just has some tightness. Is it holding him back from playing? No. But I don't know if he's 100 percent. He has some treatment that has helped in the past, so we'll see how he responds to that." …

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