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Marrone: 'Tommy will play'


JACKSONVILLE – The AFC Championship Game's Big Issue is a non-issue.

That has been Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone's stance on Tom Brady since the five-time Super Bowl champion jammed his hand Wednesday, and it remained his stance Friday.

Marrone, who on Friday made his final media appearance before Sunday's AFC Championship Game, was asked if he had mentioned the situation to his players.

"No. Tommy will play. We know that," Marrone said as the AFC South Champion Jaguars (12-6) prepared to play the AFC East Champion New England Patriots (14-3) in the AFC Championship Game at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, Sunday at 3:05 p.m.

Brady, a four-time Super Bowl Most Valuable Player who has quarterbacked the Patriots to five Super Bowl victories in a 17-year career, sustained a hand injury in practice Wednesday. He was listed as not practicing on the Patriots' practice report Thursday.

The Jaguars on Friday also issued their final practice report of the week, with free safety Tashaun Gipson the lone player listed as questionable.

Gipson, the team's starting free safety in 16 regular-season games and two postseason games, did not finish a 45-42 Divisional Playoff victory in Pittsburgh last Sunday because of a foot injury. He missed practice Wednesday and Thursday, and was listed as working limited Friday.

"It's Friday, we've got some time," Marrone said. "He's progressing in the right direction."

All other Jaguars players who were listed with injuries this week were listed without a status on the Friday injury report, with defensive tackle Malik Jackson (ankle), safety Barry Church (shoulder) and running back Leonard Fournette (ankle) practicing limited Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Quarterback Blake Bortles (right wrist), middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (abdomen) and guard Patrick Omameh (illness) were listed as practicing full Friday. Bortles has been listed with the wrist issue all season and has not missed a practice or start this season.

The Jaguars on Friday went through their usual Friday practice of about an hour and a half, with Marrone saying afterward he was pleased with the preparation for the week.

"They've been good all year," Marrone said.

Marrone also while meeting with the media Friday was asked what made him confident before the season began that the team could be successful this season.

"I don't know," he said. "I know that when I see something a certain way and people coming together and a work ethic and accountability, you have a chance. I don't know if you ever feel like, 'Hey, we're going to be this.' You just know you have a chance. It's worked before, it's not rocket science.

"If you just come together, you work hard and you believe in what you're doing is right, you have a chance to be successful. We're still a work in progress."

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