JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars have a lot of defensive questions entering the weekend.
And a lot of them are important questions.
Defensive end Josh Allen, linebacker Myles Jack and cornerback C.J. Henderson – three of the best players on a young defense that has struggled in recent weeks – were listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week Friday afternoon.
Questionable means all are 50-50 to play against the Houston Texans, and Head Coach Doug Marrone said Allen – who has two of the team's four sacks this season – is "obviously 50-50" for Sunday's 1 p.m. game at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas.
"We'll see where he's at tomorrow," Marrone said.
All three players were injured in a loss to Cincinnati Sunday. Allen (knee) did not practice all week, while Henderson (shoulder) and Jack (ankle) practiced limited Thursday and Friday after not practicing Wednesday.
Jack, a fifth-year linebacker, has been perhaps the team's best defensive player this season. The Jaguars led the Bengals 13-10 and had allowed 46 rushing at halftime last week. Jack left the game early in the second half, during which the Bengals outscored the Jaguars 23-12 and rushed for 159 yards.
Marrone said Friday he would trust Jack if Jack tells him he can play Sunday.
"My philosophy with players is obviously after they get cleared by doctors and trainers I'm going to listen to that player until he shows me something differently," Marrone said. "Myles has always been one that I've trusted [when it comes to playing with an injury], so I have no issue with that."
The Jaguars on Sunday are expected to use a fourth kicker in four games, with 13-year veteran Stephen Hauschka expected to kick in Houston.
Hauschka missed the Cincinnati game with knee soreness after signing the previous Monday. Hauschka was signed after rookie kicker Brandon Wright was placed on injured reserve and waived after sustaining a groin injury in his NFL debut. Wright had kicked in the Jaguars' Week 3 loss to Miami after being elevated from the practice squad after the team placed kicker Josh Lambo – one of the NFL's most reliable kickers from 2017 through his Week 2 hip injury – on injured reserve the day before the game.
The Jaguars' Week 4 kicker – Aldrick Rosas – was placed on the team's practice-squad injured list Friday. He had been elevated from the practice squad to kick in Cincinnati because of Hauschka's injury. The team signed kicker Jon Brown to the practice squad Friday.
"What we've seen in these past couple of weeks is unprecedented; I've never seen that before," Marrone said with a laugh Friday. "It's almost like every day you're wondering who's going to be out there. My first thought is how much I appreciate [punter] Logan Cooke; I know he's going to be out there all the time. We're fortunate he can kick off, which gives us more options."
Defensive tackle Daniel Ekuale also was listed as questionable Friday with an ankle injury. All other Jaguars players who appeared on the injury report this week – including rookie Laviska Shenault Jr., who was limited all three days in practice with a hamstring injury – were removed from the report Friday, which means they are expected to be available Sunday.
Shenault through four games has 16 receptions for 191 yards and a touchdown, with five receptions for a season-high 86 yards against Cincinnati Sunday. He also has rushed for 53 yards on nine carries. "I'm good with whatever," he said. "You give me the chance to go do something, I'm going to go do it. Me playing receiver, me playing running back – it doesn't matter. I'm an athlete at the end of the day and I'm here to do whatever. … I'm an athlete. I'm a playmaker. I want it. I want the pressure. I love the pressure."
Marrone on the Jaguars' offensive line: "I see better blocking, both in the run and pass. Not to say we where we want to be. We're obviously not, but to say there has been an improvement over last year, I would say, 'Yes. Definitely.'"
Shenault: "I really do think we're knocking at the door. I always talk about the attention to detail because it might be the little things that might get us here and there. I think we've got some special things coming here in the future."