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Jags hold out hope for Brunell


The Jaguars remain hopeful Mark Brunell will be under center this Sunday against a Baltimore Ravens team that has its own injury problems.

Brunell missed last Sunday's game in Pittsburgh due to a right quadriceps injury that was worsened when Brunell played despite the injury the previous week. Coach Tom Coughlin said Brunell would not practice today, but Coughlin expected Brunell to practice tomorrow.

Meanwhile, the Ravens have lost defensive end Michael McCrary for the season following knee surgery that revealed more damage than expected. Running back Terry Allen and wide receiver Patrick Johnson are also listed as "out" on the Ravens' injury report. Defensive end Rob Burnett is "doubtful," and middle linebacker Ray Lewis and cornerback Duane Starks are "questionable."

"He feels better; he feels stronger," Coughlin said of Brunell.

"It wasn't feeling good before the Cincinnati game. Personally, I feel I set myself back," Brunell said of his injury, which caused him to miss practice on each of the previous two Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Jonathan Quinn replaced Brunell at quarterback in Pittsburgh this past Sunday and though Quinn threw for 225 yards and no interceptions, he was unable to move the Jaguars offense inside the Steelers' 18-yard line. He seemed to join fans who've been critical of his performance in the 20-7 loss.

"There were some checks I didn't make, some throws I didn't hit. There's lots of room for improvement," Quinn said.

Coughlin agreed. "There's no question Jon can play better. He has the ability to play better. Jon will bounce back. He's resilient," Coughlin said.

Whether it's Brunell or Quinn at quarterback, he'll be playing behind the same offensive line that allowed Quinn to be sacked five times in Pittsburgh and produced only 12 yards rushing by Jaguars running backs. Coughlin hinted on Monday there might be personnel change on the offensive line this week, but he nullified that possibility today.

"I'm going to stay with those five guys because in two of the last three games they played well enough to win," he said of center Jeff Smith, guards Brad Meester and Zach Wiegert, and tackles Todd Fordham and Maurice Williams. "They give us the best chance to win," Coughlin added.

Of course, what would the start of any week of practice be without the ongoing saga of Fred Taylor's groin injury? Taylor is listed as "questionable" -- so is Brunell -- on the Jaguars' injury report. Tight end Damon Jones (shoulder) is "doubtful," and safety Ainsley Battles (knee) and cornerback Fernando Bryant (concussion) are "probable."

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