JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars' future at safety officially is at hand.
Dwight Lowery, a veteran safety who was placed on injured reserve with a concussion on Tuesday, likely will be waived when healthy, Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said Wednesday. Lowery's locker was empty when players met with media early Wednesday afternoon.
"It was just a decision at that time that (Jaguars General Manager) Dave (Caldwell) and I talked about and made," Bradley said Wednesday as the Jaguars (0-5) prepared to play the Denver Broncos (5-0) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High in Denver, Colo., Sunday at 4:05 p.m.
Lowery, who started 20 games the past two seasons, started the first three games this season before sustaining a concussion on the first series of a Week Two loss at Seattle.
"D-Lo has been very good for us and a good player," Bradley said. "He's given a lot to us and was great throughout. It was an organizational decision."
Placing Lowery on injured reserve and subsequently releasing him means rookies Johnathan Cyprien and Josh Evans are now the Jaguars' starting safety tandem. That appeared likely when Lowery was injured, and became more likely when he was placed on injured reserve.
Cyprien, the Jaguars' second-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, started the first five games of the season, with Evans – a sixth-round selection – playing extensively in place of Lowery in Week Three and starting the last two games.
"It really doesn't change much," Evans said. "You kind of heard it early on. They were saying the future was Johnathan (Cyprien) and Josh Evans. It just came a little sooner than people probably expected."
Also on Wednesday:
*Bradley said he won't use the Broncos' being significant favorites for Sunday's game as motivation for players. "I don't go there," Bradley said. "Things like that, at times, are more external motivation. If you get caught doing that one week, you're doing it the next week, then you're doing it the next week. Then, you're always searching for reasons to be motivated. … We can get caught up in all the other things, but when you do that you miss yourself, what you need to do."
*Wide receiver Mike Brown (back), wide receiver Stephen Burton (concussion), quarterback Blaine Gabbert (hamstring), cornerback Dwayne Gratz (ankle), tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf), defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (knee), defensive tackle Roy Miller (shoulder) and defensive lineman Jeremy Mincey (concussion) were held out of practice on Wednesday.
*Bradley said he expects Marks to play Sunday, and said the only player expected to miss Sunday from the above list is Gabbert. He said Gratz is likely to miss a fifth consecutive game after starting the regular-season opener….
*With Gabbert out Sunday, third-year veteran Ricky Stanzi will be the backup quarterback. He joined the Jaguars the week before the regular-season opener off waivers from Kansas City, but has yet to play in a game. "He's really bright," Bradley said. "He's a lot more comfortable obviously than he was two weeks ago. He's gaining more and more confidence. Right now, he's our No. 2."…
*Wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (groin) and linebacker Geno Hayes (hip) were limited in practice Wednesday. Each played with the injuries Sunday at St. Louis….
*Mincey and Burton remain in the concussion program, and the team is awaiting test results from this week….
*Lewis, who missed four of the first five games with the calf injury, worked on the side in practice. "He's starting to push sleds and things like that," Bradley said. "I think for Marcedes right now it's gaining confidence in it."…
*Center Brad Meester also did not practice Wednesday with a veteran day off.