JACKSONVILLE – What appeared likely all week became official Friday.
That means while the Jaguars' linebacker corps won't be completely depleted Sunday, it won't be at full strength, either.
Paul Posluszny, the Jaguars' starting middle linebacker and defensive captain, will miss Sunday's game against Indianapolis with a fractured right hand, the team announced Friday. It will be the second game Posluszny has missed this season, the first since a Week 4 loss at Tampa Bay.
"It's feeling a lot better," Posluszny said as the Jaguars (4-8) prepared to play the Colts (6-6) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m. "We have a meeting with the doctor next week, and we'll go from there.
"It's frustrating. You miss a game early in the year, then miss this one … I want to be a guy who is reliable, who can play all 16. So, to get nicked here and there and have to miss time – it's disappointing."
While the Jaguars will be without Posluszny, Otto linebacker Dan Skuta is expected to play Sunday. Skuta started nine of the first 10 games, but returned to practice full Thursday.
He was listed as probable on the Friday injury report.
"He feels pretty good," Jaguars Head Coach Bradley said of Skuta. "That was one of his things: he wanted to get back to full health so it doesn't linger each week."
Second-year veteran Jordan Tripp is expected to start at middle linebacker for Posluszny Sunday. He has played the weak-side and Otto linebacker positions as a reserve this season, but spent this week working in the middle. He also will wear the in-helmet communication device Sunday and make pre-snap defensive calls.
"I'm going to be ready," Tripp said. "It's a great opportunity, and I'll continue to prepare so you can be ready to go play fast and make plays. Playing the other positions has helped me understand what's going on around me. Everybody around me has helped with communication so when we get out there, we can play as a unit and play fast."
Tripp, who never has made an NFL start, played extensively at Otto last week after Thurston Armbrister was benched for ineffectiveness. Armbrister had been playing in place of Skuta.
"The good thing about him (Tripp) is he's so sharp, so squared way," Posluszny said. "He's done a great job of learning our defense. He knows exactly what to do."
Bradley on Friday said no consideration has been given to placing Posluszny on the season-ending injured reserve list with three games remaining in the regular season.
Posluszny, the Jaguars' second-leading tackler, sustained the fracture against the Tennessee Titans last Sunday. He underwent surgery Tuesday and did not practice this week.
"Hopefully, everything goes good with the part they were concerned about, so next week he can come back," Bradley said.
Posluszny said the team didn't attempt to find a way to brace or protect the hand to allow him to play Sunday, but if he plays next week he likely will do so with a cast or club-like device.
"Hopefully, we'll get into that next week to see what I can wear and what I can do," Posluszny said. "As long as this heals up properly at some point in the season we should be able to give it a shot."
Posluszny, a nine-year veteran, said the reason he wants to do whatever possible to return this season is simple.
"I'm running out of time," he said with a smile. "There's nothing worse than missing games. I want to take advantage of the ones that I can have an opportunity play in. I want to take advantage of all of the opportunities I can because I don't know how many more I'm going to have."
Also on Friday, running back T.J. Yeldon was added to the injury report with a groin injury. Bradley said that was precautionary, and that he expects Yeldon to play Sunday.
Yeldon was listed as probable Friday, as were safety Sergio Brown (hamstring), defensive end Chris Clemons (not injury related), strong safety Johnathan Cyprien (stinger), wide receiver Allen Hurns (ankle/thigh), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee), offensive tackle Jermey Parnell (knee) and Skuta.
Defensive end Ryan Davis (knee), tight end Nic Jacobs (hamstring) and wide receiver Bryan Walters (back) were listed as questionable. Walters did not practice this week, but played last week after being listed as questionable on Friday.