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First off the Field: WRs closer to full health


JACKSONVILLE – Another day, another step closer.

The Jaguars' wide receivers, an uncertain area with varying degrees of health and availability through the first five weeks of the 2014 regular season, took another step toward full health on Thursday.

Cecil Shorts III, a veteran wide receiver who has missed three of five games this season with hamstring issues, returned to practice on a full-participation basis.

That meant all of the Jaguars' active wide receivers practiced full Thursday.

"I think we need just to see him stack it up now," Bradley said of Shorts as the Jaguars (0-5) prepared to play the Tennessee Titans (1-4) at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee, Sunday at 1 p.m.

"But he made it through the full practice, so that's a good sign."

Shorts' return to full status came the same day rookie wide receiver Marqise Lee practiced full after working limited on Wednesday. Lee, a second-round selection who started the first two games of the regular season, has missed the last three games with a hamstring injury.

Shorts caught six passes for 70 yards and a touchdown in two games, with Lee catching eight passes for 73 yards in two games. Rookies Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson started at wide receiver last week.

If Shorts and Lee are available Sunday, it would be the first time this season the Jaguars had all of their active wide receivers healthy and available on game day this season.

"I'm just going to stay optimistic about everything and let my play speak for itself," Shorts said earlier Thursday.

Shorts went through the Jaguars' return-to-play protocol Wednesday after being out of practice throughout last week.

"We kind of brought him along yesterday and he got full reps today (Thursday) to see how he is," Bradley said. "It will be interesting to see how he is tomorrow (Friday), but it felt really good."

Bradley said rather than predetermining a role for Shorts Sunday, the team will continue spreading repetitions between all practicing wide receivers, an approach the team has started taking this season with multiple injuries at the position.

"We found out that works the best as far as not overworking receivers," Bradley said. "We give them all the work they need but then they're fresh on Sunday. He just went into that group and got multiple reps."

Also around the Jaguars Thursday:

*The Jaguars continued preparing for Tennessee as if they could face any of the Titans' three quarterbacks: starter Jake Locker, backup Charlie Whitehurst or rookie Zach Mettenberger. Locker has missed practiced the last two days after sustaining a thumb injury Sunday against Cleveland. "They are two different styles," Jaguars defensive coordinator Bob Babich said of Locker and Whitehurst. "You've seen one play a bunch and the other one hasn't played quite as much. … It's tough but we're just going to go ahead and play our game and try to do what we do best."

*Cornerback Dwayne Gratz had a good practice on his second day back working after missing Sunday's loss to Pittsburgh with a concussion, Bradley said. Demetrius McCray, who started in place of Gratz Sunday, has worked with the first team in practice each of the last two days and is expected to start against Tennessee Sunday. "I thought Gratzy really stood out today," Bradley said. "He made a couple of plays that really stood out. That was good to see. …

*Bradley overall called Thursday, which featured extensive third-down work, "a good practice."…

*Running back Toby Gerhart, who has dealt with a foot/ankle injury since Week 1, missed practice with a foot injury after practicing full Wednesday. Gerhart has started each of the first five games this season, rushing for 123 yards on 48 carries. The Jaguars split running back repetitions between Gerhart, Jordan Todman, Denard Robinson and Storm Johnson against Pittsburgh last week. …

*Defensive end Chris Clemons and linebacker Geno Hayes missed practice with veterans' days off, as did defensive tackle Roy Miller, the latter of whom practiced full Wednesday with an ankle issue. …

*Defensive end Ryan Davis (shoulder) and linebacker Dekoda Watson (shoulder) practiced full after working limited on Wednesday. …

*Gratz, tight end Clay Harbor (back), wide receiver Allen Hurns (foot) and Johnson (ankle) all worked full for a second consecutive day.

*Middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (knee contusion) worked limited for a second consecutive day. …

Take a look at practice images as the Jaguars prepare for their Week 6 matchup with the Tennessee Titans

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