JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars are getting healthier.
That doesn't mean they will be at full strength at receiver, but Head Coach Doug Pederson said other previously-injured players – left guard Walker Little, safety Andre Cisco and cornerback Tyson Campbell – should play Sunday.
"They should be fine," Pederson said Friday as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (6-2) prepared to play the NFC West-leading San Francisco 49ers (5-3) at EverBank Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m.
Little missed Week 6 and 7 victories over the Indianapolis Colts and the New Orleans Saints with a knee injury and played as a backup in a Week 8 victory at the Pittsburgh Steelers, with Campbell missing Weeks 7 and 8 and Cisco missing Week 8. Campbell and Cisco were listed as questionable on the Jaguars' final injury report of the week Friday while Little was not on this week's injury report.
Offensive lineman Ezra Cleveland (toe) and safety Daniel Thomas (hamstring) both were listed as questionable, with wide receiver Zay Jones – who missed the last three games with a knee injury – ruled out Friday.
"He's doing better," Pederson said of Jones.
Montaric Brown started two games for Campbell, with Tyler Shatley starting three games for Little and Andrew Wingard starting one game for Cisco.
"It just means the guys that are stepping up are stepping up and they're playing well," Pederson said. "That's what makes good teams. In the absence of a starter, the backup guy has to come in and fill in. It takes a full 53-man roster as you pick your 48 for that game.
"You know you're going to need everybody. Credit to those guys because they work hard in practice. They don't get a ton of reps usually in practice during the week, but when their number is called, they go out and play and perform and do a nice job."
With Little expected to start at left guard, Sunday will mark the second time this season the Jaguars' starting offensive line of left tackle Cam Robinson, Little, center Luke Fortner, right guard Brandon Scherff and right tackle Anton Harrison will start together. The group played 11 snaps before Little injured his knee in Week 5 against Buffalo.
"They have to go do it, perform together in a loud environment against a good opponent," Pederson said of the line. "That's obviously the bottom line, is game reps, but they've got plenty of work in practice during the last couple weeks."
- Because the Jaguars won the AFC South last season they play five games against defending division champions this season, with the defending NFC West champion 49ers being the third such opponent. They lost to defending AFC West Champion Kansas City at home in Week 2 and beat defending AFC East Champion Buffalo at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London in Week 5. They play defending AFC North champion Cincinnati at home in Week 13 and defending NFC South champion Tampa Bay in Week 16. "It depends on what you do the year before," Pederson said. "We just have to continue one week at a time and hopefully from our standpoint, things year in year out are going to be sustainable and we continue to have great teams come to Jacksonville."