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First off the field: Smith still hopeful


JACKSONVILLE – No way does Telvin Smith want to sit out Sunday.

After all, just missing practice this week has been difficult enough for the second-year linebacker.

Smith, the Jaguars' starting weak-side linebacker, on Thursday missed practice for a second consecutive day this week with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. Those are the first two regular-season practices he has missed in two NFL seasons.

"It's different," Smith said Thursday as the Jaguars (5-9) prepared to play the New Orleans Saints (5-9) at Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana, Sunday at 4:05 p.m.

"That's one thing I feel like I take pride in, letting guys know I'm going to be there, that I'm going to be accountable. So, it's a little different."

Smith, who also played through a dislocated a finger on his left hand in a loss to Atlanta Sunday, has not been ruled out for Sunday.

"I think for him it's just a comfort level," Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said. "He's coming along. Never question Telvin's toughness. It's the ability to be out there and effectiveness: what percent is he? What can he do and what are we asking him to do?"

Bradley said he expects to know Smith's game status before Sunday.

"We're going to see what happens," Smith said. "We're going to see what happens and how everything goes. Hopefully, everything goes well. When Sunday comes if I can play I'm going to play."

Smith said he would be comfortable playing without practicing during the week.

Images from Thursday's practice ahead of the Jaguars Week-16 matchup with the New Orleans Saints.

"As long you understand the defense, I feel like you should be able to play anytime," Smith said. "As long as I continue to study this week, which I have been – and looking at them on film to know what's coming   think I'll be fine."

Smith was one of three players not practicing for the Jaguars Thursday, with the others being starting running back T.J. Yeldon (knee) and starting defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee). Yeldon missed the loss to Atlanta and Miller has yet to miss a game this season.

"He's making progress," Bradley said of Yeldon. "It's slow. He's moving around better. We'll see."

Denard Robinson likely will start a second consecutive game at running back if Yeldon can't play. Robinson practiced for a second consecutive day with a sprained foot sustained Sunday.

Robinson rushed for 28 yards on 14 carries against Atlanta. While reserve running backs Jonas Gray and Joe Banyard did not play against Atlanta, Bradley said he would be comfortable playing either player Sunday. Gray signed with the Jaguars last Tuesday from the Miami Dolphins' practice squad.

"They're all up to speed now knowing the package and understanding the responsibilities." Bradley said.

Defensive end Ryan Davis (knee), wide receiver Allen Hurns (thigh), linebacker Dan Skuta (hamstring) and guard A.J. Cann (wrist) practiced limited Thursday. Davis has missed the last two games while Skuta played through the injury Sunday. Hurns has played through the thigh injury much of the season and Cann was added to the injury report Thursday.

Seven players practiced full despite being listed on the injury report Wednesday: safety Sergio Brown *(thumb), defensive end Chris Clemons, cornerback Dwayne Gratz (hamstring), tight end Nic Jacobs (hamstring), Robinson, middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (hand) and wide receiver Bryan Walters (back). Clemons returned after a veteran day off. Gratz missed Sunday's game and Jacobs and Walters have missed the last two games.


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