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Last look: Jaguars-Texans

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JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser checks in with a last look before the Jaguars play the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, Sunday at 1 p.m.

Records

Jaguars (5-10), Texans (8-7).

Big picture

This game means nothing to the Jaguars in terms of the postseason.

They were eliminated from the AFC South chase and the playoffs before a loss to the New Orleans Saints last Sunday, a loss that left them 5-10 with draft positioning the only thing at stake entering the regular-season finale.

For the Texans, it's a different scenario. After starting the season 1-4 and 2-5, Houston can clinch the AFC South with a victory. Even if the Jaguars win, the Texans will clinch the division and the accompanying first-round home playoff game next week if any of eight teams win Sunday.

At this point, the Texans not making the postseason is the longest of long shots.

Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley, who will return next season for a fourth season, said throughout the week he expected that healthy players will play their normal roles. There had been speculation early in the week the team might play key players less than normal to reduce the risk of injury.

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Injury front

Jaguars weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith (finger/shoulder) and running back T.J. Yeldon (knee) were ruled out on the final injury report of the week Friday. Jonas Gray and Denard Robinson likely will share carries at running back.

Hayes Pullard likely will start at weak-side backer if healthy, but he was listed as questionable with a hamstring injury Friday. Jordan Tripp will start if Pullard can't play.

Right tackle Jermey Parnell was listed as questionable and is expected to be a game-day decision. Sixth-year veteran Sam Young would make his first start of the season if Parnell can't play.

The following players were listed as probable Friday: Defensive tackle Tyson Alualu (ankle), defensive end Chris Clemons (not injury related), strong safety Johnathan Cyprien (thigh), wide receiver Allen Hurns (thigh), offensive tackle Luke Joeckel (back/knee), cornerback Demetrius McCrary (not injury related), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee), defensive end Jared Odrick (quad) and wide receiver Allen Robinson (shoulder).

Defensive tackle Abry Jones (knee) was placed on injured reserve Friday. Defensive tackle Richard Ash was signed from the practice squad.

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Final thought

A month ago it appeared this game could have postseason implications for the Jaguars. The Jaguars squandered the opportunity and that's too bad. But this is still a regular-season game, and players still prepared all week to play. Can they play well enough to beat a team playing for a playoff position? History says that's a difficult task, but it would make a victory meaningful – even if not as meaningful as the Jaguars hoped would be the case when the month began.

 
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