Skip to main content

Jaguars News | Jacksonville Jaguars -

Leftwich optimistic


Byron Leftwich said he was going to test his tender leg in practice on Thursday. Khalif Barnes is going to test his skills on Sunday.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Leftwich said of his recovery from the groin injury he sustained in last Sunday's loss to the Colts. "I'm ready to roll but you don't want to rush into it. I'm going to go out there today and see how it goes."

Leftwich did not practice on Wednesday, the Jaguars' first day of on-field preparations for Sunday's game against the Jets at Giants Stadium. Coach Jack Del Rio told reporters, however, that he expects Leftwich will play, despite being listed as "questionable" on the Jaguars' injury report.

"The key is to be ready to play on Sunday, not on Thursday," Leftwich said.

An even more important key for the Jaguars is their ability to score points on offense. After a 26-point output in a season-opening win over Seattle, the Jaguars managed only a field goal in Indianapolis.

The most alarming fact from the loss to the Colts is the six sacks the Jaguars offensive line allowed. Leftwich was savaged by the Colts pass-rush and now Leftwich must face Jets pass-rushers John Abraham and Bryan Thomas.

"We didn't play a bad game; we just didn't have a good one. We will do a better job of scoring points," Leftwich said.

Barnes is expected to see his first action, possibly alternating with veteran Ephraim Salaam at left tackle. Barnes, a second-round pick from Washington, could replace Mike Pearson.

"I want to see how I play against an NFL defense. I'm anxious to see how good I am against these NFL ends. Where am I at now and what do I have to do to get to where I need to be?" Barnes told reporters today.

He was drafted to be the team's left tackle of the future, but the Jaguars' inability to protect Leftwich last Sunday has caused a desperate situation and, for Barnes, the future has become the present.

"My goal is the same: Play as much as I can and do whatever I can to help this team," he said. "I'm getting prepared for it. That's what this week is for. I'm ready to play up to my expectations."

As for the remainder of the Jaguars, preparation will include brushing aside their loss to the Colts and turning their attention to the Jets. Leftwich said that's already happened.

"We learned a lot last year from winning big games and then coming back and losing. I haven't seen anyone talking about the Colts since Monday. In this league, there's too much work to do to prepare to be worried about what happened last week," Leftwich said.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content