JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars' offense could be getting good news.
Meanwhile, one of the Jaguars' key defensive players – starting weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith – will begin the week in the NFL's concussion protocol.
Those were the highlights of Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone's media briefing early Monday evening, with Marrone telling reporters three key offensive players – right tackle Jermey Parnell, left guard Patrick Omameh and wide receiver Allen Hurns – may be getting closer to returning.
"I hope to expect Parnell and Omameh on the field Wednesday," Marrone said Monday, a day after the Jaguars' 27-24 loss to the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on Sunday afternoon.
"Then, I think Allen is getting ready, so we'll see where he is."
Parnell, the Jaguars' starting right tackle in the first seven games of the season, has missed the last three games with a knee injury. Omameh, the Jaguars' starting left guard, has been out the last two games with a quadriceps injury. Hurns, a starter in seven consecutive games from Weeks 2 through 9, has been out the last two games with an ankle injury.
The Jaguars' No. 1-ranked running game has struggled in recent weeks, with the offense rushing for fewer than 100 yards twice in the last three weeks. The Jaguars rushed for a season-low 91 yards Sunday, with 62 yards coming on six rushes by quarterback Blake Bortles.
Rookie Keelan Cole Sr. has started the last two games for Hurns, with Chris Reed starting the last two games in place of Omameh at left guard and Josh Wells starting the last three games at right tackle for Parnell, who is considered one of the Jaguars' better run blockers.
"I think it's important any time you get someone back who's played," Marrone said of Parnell, "but I've seen Josh Wells get better. Obviously, it was a tough matchup going against the Chargers (and pass rushers Melvin Ingram and Joey Bosa on November 12) for him, but the last two weeks some of the things he hasn't been efficient at before he's actually done a much better job where you put the tape on and say, 'You know what? He's gotten better.'''
Marrone on Monday also confirmed that Smith will begin the week in the NFL's concussion protocol. Smith sustained the injury late in the first half Sunday, and initially was cleared to return. He reported symptoms at halftime and did not return in the second half.
"When Telvin came out, he was cleared by the UNC (Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant) and went back in the game," Jaguars senior manager of public relations Tad Dickman said. "When we went into halftime, he self-reported symptoms and the team doctors downgraded him."
Also on Monday:
*Marrone addressed the Jaguars' recent struggles in the run game, saying, "It's something we have to change. We want to be able to run the football and put ourselves in manageable situations. I think that's going to help us, along with our play-action game and being able to take shots – basically, what our philosophy has been the whole time. I've got to do a better job, and the coaches, of putting those guys in good position, schematically, and being able to take advantage of some of these heavy fronts that we see." …
*Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette rushed for 25 yards on 12 carries Sunday, with third-down back T.Y. Yeldon rushing three times for 10 yards and backup Chris Ivory losing a fumble on his lone carry – a first-half six-yard loss. "You have three guys back there," Marrone said. "They're good football players. Try to manage to find a way to get them involved and keep them in the rhythm of the game and keep them going. It's a challenge and it's one that we, I think, can do a better job of that going forward." …
*Marrone reiterated what he said Sunday about having Bortles throw to wide receiver Marqise Lee rather than run on second and eight with :37 remaining Sunday. Because the pass was incomplete, the clock stopped and eventually enabled Arizona to take possession and move for Phil Dawson's game-winning, 57-yard field goal with :01 remaining. Marrone said Sunday he got "too greedy" – and that he should have run the clock down and gotten to overtime with the game tied, 24-24. "If you're asking me to go back and mitigate the decision and what happened, I still … I woke up today thinking the same thing: I should have made that decision; I should've gone into overtime,'' Marrone said. …