LONDON – A.J. Bouye’s ready for the challenge.
That was clear Friday, with the Jaguars’ cornerback saying he will cover Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins extensively one-on-one Sunday.
“I’m going to be with him all the time, so I’m looking forward to that,” the seven-year veteran said as the Jaguars (4-4) prepared to play the Houston Texans (5-3) at Wembley Stadium Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
Covering Hopkins man-to-man and “traveling” with the All-Pro receiver typically was a role played for the Jaguars by All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, who was traded recently to the Los Angeles Rams. Bouye, a Pro Bowl selection following the 2017 season, expressed confidence in Sunday’s assignment.
“The coaches trust me enough to get the job done,” Bouye said. “It’s going to be a great matchup, a great opportunity. He’s a top receiver, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Head Coach Doug Marrone on Friday the Jaguars had “a couple of different ways” available to them to try to defend Hopkins.
“I don’t know if you can stop it,” Marrone said. “You can try to contain it and hopefully you contain enough where it’s not going to hurt you in the final score. Obviously, Hopkins is a outstanding player – the best, if not one of the best receivers in the NFL.
“It’s a difficult task. You don’t want to do it one way. You do something one way a lot of times in this profession it will get you beat – unless you’re just that much better. I think we’ll do a bunch of different things to ty to contain him if we can.”
Bouye, a teammate of Hopkins with the Texans from 2013-2016, called Hopkins a great route runner with great hands and great game speed.
“It’s very motivating,” Bouye said. “He’s one of the best receivers in the game. It’s a great opportunity for me to keep going out there and put on good tape.”
Also around the Jaguars Friday:
*The Jaguars listed cornerback D.J. Hayden and wide receiver Dede Westbrook as questionable entering the weekend with neck/shoulder issues. “Today’s Friday; we’ll see where we go from there,” Marrone said. Westbrook has played through the issue recently, but missed the second half of a victory over the New York Jets last Sunday; Hayden sustained the injury against the Jets. The Jaguars also announced that linebackers Quincy Williams and Leon Jacobs did not make the trip and will not play Sunday; both players did not practice this week because of hamstring injuries. ..
*Marrone talked on Friday about playing in London, something he did as a player with the London Monarchs of World League of American Football in 1991 and 1992. “I love it,” Marrone said. “I always feel comfortable when I come back here, as I’ve said. I basically lived here twice. You’re just familiar. You feel at home. You feel comfortable for me. I always enjoy coming here. I like it better when I’m coming here and I don’t have to work; I can definitely drink more. But outside of that, it’s always good. Especially playing at Wembley for me. Probably one of my greatest memories every was winning the World Bowl in 1991 with the London Monarchs. Every time I walk into that stadium, I think of that.”