JACKSONVILLE – The vibe is good these days, and that's a positive.
Head Coach Doug Pederson said the Jaguars now must continue the good feeling of back-to-back London victories in one of the most important games of the season to date.
"There's a lot on the line, obviously," he said.
The Jaguars (3-2) will play host to the Indianapolis Colts (3-2) at EverBank Stadium Sunday, and much indeed is at stake. The game will be for sole possession of first place in the AFC South, with the Jaguars having a chance to complete a season sweep of the Colts.
The Jaguars beat the Colts, 31-21, in Indianapolis in Week 1.
"It's a big, big week," Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said. "Anytime you play a division opponent, it's big. It's only Week 6. There's a lot that can happen as the season goes on. But we understand the importance of it. Obviously, they do, too.
"There are no secrets. You're not going to surprise anyone in games like this. It's a great opportunity for us. Just to continue to go the way we want to go this season, this is the next step."
The Jaguars have won eight consecutive home games in the series, with seven victories in Jacksonville and one in London. The Colts last won in Jacksonville in 2014.
"It's focused on one game at a time and getting ready for the next one," Pederson said. "We understand it's a division opponent, so they don't really pay attention to the streaks and all that. It's just kind of getting yourself ready to play."
The Jaguars' victories over the Atlanta Falcons in Week 3 and Buffalo Bills in Week 4 came in London. Pederson called adjusting to the five-hour time difference between London and Jacksonville "obviously a concern."
"The jet lag is real for a couple of days," he said.
While coaches began game-planning immediately upon returning from London, players were off Monday and Tuesday. Pederson also said walkthroughs may increase this week to "slow down the pace a little bit."
"You try to get their bodies and minds kind of rejuvenated again," he said. "Obviously the onus is on the player for understanding the game plan and getting the game plan down. I can do my part by helping them, maybe getting them off the field where they can continue their rehab and treatments. Hydration is important, nutrition is important, and then making sure that they get rested right."
Pederson said he expects to have a feel for how players are adjusting before game day.
"You can gauge it," he said. "[Wednesday] has been good so far with the guys that are here, just talking to them and how they feel, how I feel, all that. We need to guard against a little bit of lull. That sort of happened to us last year when we came back. It's something that I'll continue to talk to the team about."
Pederson spoke during the Jaguars' 10 days in London, and upon returning home, of the positives of the trip.
"We have to bring that energy back," he said. "We can't leave it in London. That's a big part of this week, but playing a division opponent can help that. The energy I saw the last two games on the sideline at Wembley [Stadium] and Tottenham [Hotspur Stadium], the way the guys were flying around, it has to come back with us. We have to experience that again this Sunday.
"It's a week-to-week business, but the emotions run so high each and every week that it has to be a little bit better each week."
NOTABLE INJURY UPDATES
- Wide receiver Zay Jones and left guard Walker Little missed practice Wednesday and are "day-to-day" after leaving Sunday's victory over the Buffalo Bills with knee injuries, Pederson said. Jones had missed the previous two games with a knee injury and left in the third quarter Sunday. Little, who started the first four games of the season at left tackle, started at guard Sunday and left in the first quarter. Pederson said reserve center/guard Tyler Shatley likely would start at left guard if Little can't play Sunday. Pederson also said left tackle Cam Robinson is "fine" after leaving Sunday's game and returning with a hyperextended elbow. Robinson practiced full Wednesday and rookie cornerback Christian Braswell practiced limited with a hamstring injury.
- Linebacker Devin Lloyd returned to practice Wednesday on a limited basis after missing two games with a thumb injury. "You'll see a protective pad and bandages and stuff on his hand, but he'll be fine," Pederson said. Pederson also said defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton is "getting close" to returning to practice after being on injured reserve with a back injury since the beginning of the regular season. Also: Pederson said there's a chance defensive lineman Dawuane Smoot could play Sunday. Smoot returned to practice last week after being on the Physically Unable to Perform list to start the season and practiced full Wednesday.