JACKSONVILLE – Winston Guy will get his first NFL start Thursday.
That will come the same night Jeremy Mincey returns to active status, which Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said he expects to happen against the Houston Texans Thursday.
Bradley confirmed the Mincey news on Wednesday.
"Unless something unforeseen happens, he'll be active," Bradley said Wednesday as the Jaguars (3-9) prepared to play the Texans (2-10) at EverBank Field Thursday at 8:25 p.m.
Mincey, a six-year veteran defensive tackle, has been inactive the last two games after oversleeping and missing a team meeting two weeks ago. He did not travel with the team to Houston two weeks ago and was on the Jaguars' sideline at Cleveland this past Sunday.
Bradley said throughout the week he hoped Mincey would have a good week of practice and be active.
Bradley said he also expects rookie defensive tackle Abry Jones to be active.
Guy, a second-year veteran from the University of Kentucky, will start in place of rookie Josh Evans, who started the last eight games at free safety. Evans sustained a shoulder injury in a victory over Cleveland Sunday.
Guy has played in 12 NFL games – two with Seattle last season and 10 with Jacksonville this season – but Thursday will be his first NFL start.
"It's a blessing," Guy said. "I'm very well prepared. When I was a backup I always prepared because if someone gets hurt, it's always the next man up. I always prepared myself as a starter.
"It's going to be exciting. It's Thursday Night Football. It's the only game on national TV, so everyone will be watching, so I'm prepared for what will happen tomorrow night."
Of making his debut on national television, Guy said, "I don't let the adversity stuff get me. I don't let the big stage get me caught up. I just try to stay focused on what I need to do."
Evans, running back Justin Forsett (foot) and wide receiver Stephen Burton (concussion) all were officially ruled out by Bradley shortly after the Jaguars' walkthrough practice Wednesday afternoon. They are the only Jaguars players expected to miss Thursday.
Also Wednesday, the following players were listed as probable on the Jaguars' injury report: defensive tackle Roy Miller (shoulder), wide receiver Mike Brown (shoulder), defensive end Andre Branch (knee), cornerback Mike Harris (hip), linebacker Geno Hayes (knee), tight end Marcedes Lewis (knee), offensive tackle Austin Pasztor (shoulder), guard Will Rackley (elbow), wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (groin) and linebacker Nate Stupar (chest).
Guy has shared time with Evans since the Jaguars Week Nine bye, with the Jaguars winning three of four games and holding their last four opponents under 100 yards rushing. He has four tackles and a pass defensed on defense this season.
"It's going to be beneficial for him to have been out there," cornerback Alan Ball said of Guy. "I know it's a great opportunity for him and I know he's going to take advantage of it, but I've worked with him before out there. He's been around a while. He's aware of certain things. He does a good job of communicating.
"I'm looking forward to his opportunity to show what he has and play an entire game."
With Wednesday being the last day of preparation on a short week, Bradley said he was pleased with the preparation despite the team not working in pads this week.
"We love practicing in pads but we want to make sure that we're healthy and playing fast," he said. "I think that's the same thing with this week. It sure would be nice to go out in pads or spiders and go full-out, but we're not going to sacrifice us playing fast or attempt to play fast over that.
"There's been some give and take. The tempo of practice obviously isn't as high as it would be because it's more of a walkthrough mode, but we know that. We're just trying to get our guys really feeling good about their bodies and where they are physically."