JACKSONVILLE – A lot of work is done. A lot remains.
And while most Jaguars starters won't play in Saturday's preseason finale, that doesn't diminish the importance of the coming days.
"As I told the team this morning, 'This is going to be a big week for a lot of guys,''' Head Coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday.
The Jaguars will play the Atlanta Falcons in the preseason finale Saturday at 3 p.m., with "joint" practices with the Falcons scheduled Wednesday and Thursday.
Pederson said Tuesday most starters won't play Saturday.
"The plan is not to if we don't have to," he said, "but I always know going into these games that you've got to have some guys in some emergency roles just in case something happens. Some of the starters will probably be in uniform, yes."
Pederson said while the Jaguars have a "pretty good idea" the makeup of the 53-man roster, the coming days – and Saturday's game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium – could matter in the competition not only for final spots but for starting positions on the offensive line.
"It's a great opportunity for many players, especially the young guys," Pederson said.
Second-year veteran Walker Little and fourth-year veteran Jawaan Taylor both have worked with the starting unit at right tackle throughout 2022 Training Camp, with third-year veteran Ben Bartch and ninth-year veteran Tyler Shatley both working at first-team left guard.
"There's still some competition there," Pederson said. "But as we get into more game weeks, say, Washington [in Week 1], it'll be solidified and whoever it is will be taking all the reps at that spot. These next two days, the game, how much time they get – if any – is important for seeing who those five guys are going to be."
Pederson said he and Falcons Head Coach Arthur Smith have discussed the objectives for each dual practice, with Wednesday's practice scheduled to be in pads and Thursday's work in helmets and shells.
"It will be a physical day, nothing live," Pederson said. "Both of us want to get work done and compete and see our teams against other opponents. I'm looking forward to that."