JACKSONVILLE – Nick Foles is waiting and seeing.
For the Jaguars’ starting quarterback, that may mean playing against the Miami Dolphins Thursday in the third game of the 2019 preseason. Or it may not.
“We’re going to see what coach decides this week, so we’re focused on Miami and staying in the moment on them,” Foles said Sunday afternoon shortly after the team’s practice at the Dream Finders Homes Practice Complex adjacent to TIAA Bank Field.
Foles, signed in March as an unrestricted free agent from Philadelphia, is among multiple Jaguars front-line players and starters who have yet play this preseason. We’ll cover Foles’ thoughts on preseason playing time later in this story, in which Foles also will discuss the Jaguars’ offensive line and recent reports that he considered retiring following the 2017 season.
But first: Foles’ thoughts on playing Thursday when the Jaguars visit the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida.
Head Coach Doug Marrone has held many players out of preseason losses to Baltimore and Philadelphia with the idea of being as healthy as possible for the September 8 preseason opener against Kansas City. Marrone said last week he plans to play starters against Miami, but also said he would like the projected starting offensive line to be together before playing Foles.
The line dealt with injuries to three projected starters left tackle Cam Robinson, left guard Andrew Norwell and right tackle Jawaan Taylor – in recent weeks, and has worked together for the first time the past two days.
“They’re really the most important piece of the offense,” Foles said. “The way they work together, the way they communicate, is a work of art. To have them all out there is huge for us. It’s happening at the right time.”
Foles said while he has gone through a preseason without playing as recently as 2017, he would prefer to play before the regular season.
“If you have a chance to play, to go out there and get a few plays, it’s always great to get that game feel, that game preparation,” Foles said. “Based on what coach decides, it would be good for us.”
Also on Sunday:
*Foles addressed comments made last week by his former teammate with the Philadelphia Eagles, defensive end Brandon Graham, who told reporters that Foles considered retiring following the 2017 season. Foles was the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl LII for the Eagles following that season, but Graham said elbow issues had Foles considering retirement early that season. “I had some elbow issues that were well-known at that time and documented in Philly, so I missed training camp,” Foles said Sunday. “I was able to get everything cleared up and felt good. When I was in St. Louis [in 2015], it was also well-documented that after that I was going to step away from the game. It was sort of combined with both of those moments. But yes, I had elbow issues in 2017 that were very difficult at the beginning of the season and got better as the season went on.” Foles said he currently has no elbow issues. “The body feels great,” Foles said. “Obviously, if you play football, you’re going to have bumps and bruises and get soreness, but the body feels great.”
*Foles on facing Jaguars cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and A.J. Bouye, both of whom were Associated Press All-Pro selections following the 2017 season: “You’ve got two premier defensive backs in the league to compete against every single day. You can’t ask for anything better than to compete against those guys. It’s great for me. It’s great for our receivers. It’s great for our team. The defense here is an extremely solid defense that flies around. It has helped us as a young offense competing against them daily. They haven’t made it easy. Our guys have had to execute at a high level to compete. OTAs (organized team activities) and training camp have been extremely valuable for this team.”