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Mondays with Marrone: Good news on Linder

Jacksonville Jaguars center Brandon Linder (65) performs a drill during an NFL football workout, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Jacksonville Jaguars center Brandon Linder (65) performs a drill during an NFL football workout, Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2020, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

JACKSONVILLE – The week will be short and busy.

Positive Jaguars news came quickly to begin that week, with Head Coach Doug Marrone on Monday saying starting center Brandon Linder's knee injury won't keep him out on a long-term basis.

Marrone, speaking during his weekly "next-day" videoconference, said the injury Linder sustained in a 33-30 loss at Tennessee Sunday won't cause him to be placed on injured reserve. He said Linder's status for Thursday's game against the 0-2 Miami Dolphins at TIAA Bank Field is uncertain.

"We got good news on it; now it's just going to be day by day," Marrone said. 

Marrone on Monday spoke of the week's challenges, saying the short week meant that Monday – a day typically spent reviewing the previous day's game – essentially became a normal game-week Thursday.

"Thursdays place a lot of anxiety into people as far as trying to get ready, trying to go," Marrone said, adding that the early-season nature of the game adds to the difficulty. 

"Schematically, you still want to do the things you need to do to win the game, but a lot of times early in the year you haven't really settled into a lot of things," he said. "That's where we are right now."

Marrone said playing a home game Thursday is good because the away team must travel Wednesday afternoon and spend game day in a hotel.

"You always get a little bit of an advantage if you're the home team," he said. "I just think it's a little bit less anxiety for a team to be home on a Thursday."

The Jaguars are the NFL's youngest team, featuring 16 rookies. Many of those rookies, including running back James Robinson, wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. and cornerback CJ Henderson, are playing crucial roles. Marrone was asked Monday if perhaps a shorter week could benefit those players following their first NFL loss.

"My gut feeling would be probably, 'Yes,''' Marrone said. "You don't really have time to go back and get upset at yourself, wanting to have plays back or calls back. You just have to move on."

Marrone on Monday also addressed the Dolphins' quarterback situation. Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick has started the first two games, throwing for 328 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-28 home loss to the Buffalo Bills Sunday. But the Dolphins selected former Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa No. 5 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft.

"You've got to be ready," Marrone said. "You never know what's going to happen. I've got a ton of respect for him (Fitzpatrick). He can get hot and really do well. Tua, we haven't really seen yet except for in college. We'll make sure we dot all the 'I's and cross all the 'T's and just make sure we have a plan for Miami's offense and not anyone in particular. You have to be sound and ready to go. It's tough on a short week to put a lot of new stuff in there."


The Jaguars through two games are averaging 28.5 points per game. A major reason: a large improvement in red-zone efficiency. The Jaguars through two games are tied for second in the NFL in the category, scoring touchdowns on 85.7 percent of their red-zone possession (six of seven possessions). The Jaguars – 31st in the NFL in the red zone at 40.43 percent last season – scored four touchdowns and a field goal on five possessions inside the 20 against Tennessee, with quarterback Gardner Minshew II throwing three touchdown passes – to running back Chris Thompson, wide receiver Keelan Cole and tight end Tyler Eifert – and rookie running back James Robinson scoring on a 17-yard run. "You've got to be able to challenge people on the outside or in the middle of the field," Marrone said. "Right now, we've got guys playing at a high level. We can run it. We can throw it. There are a lot of different things we can do down there. We feel good about the players who are doing it. We've been able to execute. In the limited time we had we put in extra time. When you can take an area and focus on it, you have a chance to get better at it. We just need to keep our consistency up. I'm happy with the job we're doing there."


The Jaguars because of the shorter week released their first injury report of the week Monday. It is considered an estimation of the players' injuries because the Jaguars did not practice Monday. Linder was listed as out on the report, as was safety Brandon Watson (illness). Wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. (chest) was listed as limited, as was rookie tight end Tyler Davis (knee). Davis missed the first two regular-season games.Jaguars C Brandon Linder won't be placed on injured reserve with a knee injury sustained in a 33-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans Sunday; Head Coach Doug Marrone said Linder's status for Thursday's game against Miami is uncertain …

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