Maurice Jones-Drew could get more work Wednesday than he has in a while.
But according to Head Coach Mike Mularkey, that doesn't mean the three-time Pro Bowl running back will play Sunday. And Mularkey in fact said Jones-Drew remains questionable for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots at EverBank Field.
Jones-Drew has missed the last eight games with a sprained foot, and Mularkey said the plan is for Jones-Drew to work some Tuesday to determine where his pain tolerance is with the injury.
"I won't say he is 'very questionable,''' Mularkey said Monday, a day after the Jaguars' 24-3 loss to the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla.
"I will just say he is 'questionable' this week. I think the pain has gotten better. I think he can do a little more."
Mularkey said Jones-Drew's injury was somewhere between a break and a sprain.
"It's an injury to his foot," Mularkey said. "I'm just going to leave it at that. Again, some guys come back from torn ACL's and lead the league in rushing. Some guys take longer to come back. It's based on the player and how fast they can recover. Everybody is different.
"Obviously we'd like to have him back. He's a special back and we'd like to have him back at full go or almost full go."
Mularkey said there is a better chance linebacker Daryl Smith will play Sunday. Smith has missed the entire season with a groin injury, but is eligible to be taken off the injured reserve/designated for return list this week.
"We've got to be smart with him, but I'd like to think he's going to be able to line up," Mularkey said. "I know he feels better, but we've got to really test him this week."
Mularkey also said cornerback Aaron Ross (calf) likely will be limited Wednesday, and that he expects rookie defensive end Andre Branch to be bothered this week by a groin injury sustained in practice Friday. Running back Rashad Jennings (concussion) will be tested this week and defensive end George Selvie is still waiting for concussion symptoms to clear, Mularkey said.
MEESTER WOULD LIKE TO RETURN
Brad Meester hasn't overthought the situation. At least not yet.
Meester, the Jaguars' center and at 35 the team's most-tenured player, said on Monday he would very much like to play for the Jaguars next season. At the same time, he said he hasn't made a decision and likely won't until the offseason.
"I hadn't thought about that yet," Meester said. "I'm just focusing on these next two games."
Meester, a second-round selection in the 2000 NFL Draft, has started more games than any other player in Jaguars history, and this season, he has been a reliable presence on an offensive line that has struggled much of the season.
"I would love to be back," Meester said. "I really would. I believe in this group. We just have to wait and see. I can't control all of that. We'll see what happens in the offseason here. You never know what's going to happen. I'm going to enjoy these last couple of weeks and we'll take it from there."
Meester has missed practiced Wednesdays during the season in an effort to reduce wear on his body.
"I think I feel as good as I have in quite a while," Meester said. "I feel like I'm moving well. We'll wait and see, I guess."
"Margin for error in any NFL game is very small. Wins and losses are literally very, very little difference between the two, but where we're at right now some of the things that are going on with our situation personnel-wise we can't afford it. We can't have just little things that we are absolutely are in control of happening happen to us. We've got to play very good at every position."
LB PAUL POSLUSZNY SAYS
"Right now, season-wise, we don't have a lot on the line, but as a team – and as a group – our jobs are very much on the line. We can't concentrate on anything right now but doing our jobs to the best of our ability and trying to finish these last two games the best way we can. If we don't do that, once the evaluation period comes following the season, the guys that didn't do things the right way or that quit or gave up on the team, those guys stand out immediately. Then, you're very replaceable."
"This is a tremendous group in here. Nobody's going to quit. We're going to keep fighting these last two games and see what we can do."
A day later, the coaches' tape didn't determine whether or not offensive tackle Guy Whimper reported as an eligible receiver Sunday. Officials ruled he did not, nullifying a 20-yard second-quarter touchdown to rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon. Mularkey said while an official on the Dolphins sideline appeared to be questioning if Whimper had reported, "I can tell you that would be a first if he (Whimper) didn't. I think what happened was I think he looked at the official, the ref, and gave him that this is 'I am reporting. I'm an eligible receiver.' I just think that he was seen and it was confirmed. Mularkey said there was no footage to support if Whimper did or didn't report. "That's a good officiating crew and it's just somehow, someway, that play that happened," Mularkey said. "I wish I had an answer."
The Jaguars will practice Wednesday as they prepare for Sunday's game against the New England Patriots at EverBank Field.
*Rookie Austin Pasztor, elevated from the practice squad Friday before making his first NFL start against the Dolphins Sunday, "did an awesome job" in Miami, Meester said. "Your first game is always a tough game to play," Meester said. "I thought he did a great job for his first game. He did a great job communicating. It was like he'd been in there all the games before. There were no hiccups with it. I thought everything went good." Mularkey said Pasztor did "better than I think any of us expected."
*Mularkey on Monday reiterated his main theme from Sunday afternoon: When it comes to the penalties and avoidable mistakes made Sunday, he takes full responsibility. "After watching the tape I'd still have to say the same thing in regards to the way we played," Mularkey said. "I hold myself responsible because I take a lot of pride in making sure we're a very disciplined team and we were not that way yesterday." The Jaguars committed 10 penalties for 88 yards, but Mularkey said he was disappointed with more than the infractions. "We did a lot of uncharacteristic things with the little details of plays that I think made differences in the plays, which in reality made differences in the game," he said. "Every play, as you guys know I've said it from the beginning, can be game-changers."