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First off the field: Yeldon, Smith miss practice again


JACKSONVILLE – It appears more and more likely T.J. Yeldon is done for the season.

Telvin Smith's status isn't quite as clear.

Yeldon, the Jaguars' leading rusher and starting running back in 12 of 15 games this season, missed practice for the second time this week Thursday with the medial collateral ligament injury that has kept him out the last two weeks.

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said it will be a "challenge" for Yeldon to play Sunday.

"He moved around a little bit better today, but like I said: I think it's going to be a challenge for him if he can play," Bradley said Thursday as the Jaguars (5-10) prepared to play the Houston Texans (8-7) in the 2015 regular-season finale at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, Sunday at 1 p.m.

"We'll probably string it along until hopefully by Saturday we have a pretty good idea. If he's not ready by Saturday, he's not a guy that we would take on the field Sunday and work out."

Bradley was asked the benefit of playing Yeldon considering the Jaguars are out of the postseason – and considering he hasn't played or practiced since being injured against Indianapolis December 13.

"I think it's more just philosophy," Bradley said. "If a guy is ready to go and he can play, then he's going to play. If he's not, then he's not. I think it's more of a mindset for him to compete through the week to get as close as he can to one hundred percent."

Smith, the Jaguars' leading tackler and starting weak-side linebacker in the first 14 games of the season, also sat out practice for the second time this week Thursday. He missed Sunday's loss at New Orleans with a separated shoulder.

"I would say Telvin has a better chance [than Yeldon of playing Sunday],'' Bradley said.

Rookie Hayes Pullard likely would start if Smith can't play, while Denard Robinson and Jonas Gray are available at running back.

Smith and Yeldon were among five players missing practice for the Jaguars Thursday, with the others being defensive tackle Abry Jones (knee), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee) and offensive tackle Jermey Parnell (hamstring).

Parnell left the New Orleans game with the injury, and veteran Sam Young likely would start against Houston if Parnell can't play. Bradley said Parnell could be a game-day decision.

Images from Thursday's practice as the Jaguars prepare to travel to Houston for the 2015 regular season finale.

"Sam has shown that he is very capable of going in there and playing," Bradley said. "There are times he struggled last year, but I think he's a guy that when we watch in practice and those one-on-one drills that we talk about that his consistency has showed up. Sam, you never have to be concerned about being prepared or ready to go. It's just about getting out there and playing."

Strong safety Johnathan Cyprien (thigh) and wide receiver Allen Robinson (shoulder) both worked full Thursday after working limited Wednesday, while left tackle Luke Joeckel (knee/back) worked full for a second consecutive day.

Defensive end Chris Clemons practiced full after a veterans day off Wednesday and cornerback Demetrius McCray worked full after missing part of practice Wednesday for the birth of his daughter. Defensive ends Tyson Alualu (ankle) and Jared Odrick (quad) both worked limited for a second consecutive day and wide receiver Allen Hurns (thigh) was limited after missing practice Wednesday.

Pullard worked limited each of the last two days with a hamstring injury.

Bradley said a roster move and/or elevating a player from the practice squad was a possibility before Sunday.

"We have to take a look at some things, yeah, whether it's tomorrow or later on Saturday," Bradley said. "We've just got to wait to see what happens tonight."

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