JACKSONVILLE – Five takeaways from HC Doug Marrone’s teleconference a day after the Jaguars’ 27-17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio
1.Foles will be worked in slowly. Nick Foles, the Jaguars’ starting quarterback before sustaining a broken clavicle in a Week 1 loss to Kansas City, will return to practice gradually this week. Foles under NFL rules is eligible to come off injured reserve and play November 17 at Indianapolis, but he can begin practicing Wednesday. Marrone said he has discussed Foles’ return with Foles, head athletic trainer Scott Trulock and offensive coordinator John DeFilippo. “We’ve got time, so we’ll just kind of gradually work him back in there,” Marrone said. “I know he has been throwing on the side. I just want to make sure we’re good with the reps and building it up, not trying to do too much too fast. We’ll be smart this week and then we’ll see how it progresses.” Marrone said Foles likely will primarily work with the scout team in seven-on-seven drills and throw on the side at practice this week. “We’ll see where he’s at, then increase it as we go,” Marrone said.
2.The Jaguars may work out linebackers this week. That’s to be expected after a rash of injuries at linebacker Sunday. Starting weak-side linebacker Najee Goode and third-teamer D.J. Alexander both sustained foot injuries against the Bengals, and rookie backup Quincy Williams sustained a hamstring injury. Marrone said most of Sunday’s injuries were “turf-related, soft-tissue” issues – and that the team should know more about them later in the week. “We’ll probably bring in some guys just to make sure we’re working out in case some of these guys are out a little bit longer,” Marrone said. “It’s just kind of the same mentality – of the next guy up – if we have to do that. Hopefully not, and we’ll just keep playing through it. Injuries are a part of it, unfortunately.” The Jaguars signed rookie linebacker Joe Giles-Harris off the practice squad Monday.
3.Josh Oliver could be more involved going forward. Oliver, the Jaguars’ rookie tight end, played 25 plays Sunday with no receptions in his first NFL game. The third-round selection from San Jose State missed the first six regular season games and the entire preseason with a hamstring injury sustained early in training camp. Marrone said Oliver emerged from Sunday healthy. “I’d like to get him targeted more,” Marrone said. “Obviously we didn’t target him yesterday. I think he’s someone who can help us in the passing game. Trying to get him more involved is something that can definitely help us moving forward and I think we’ve got to look for ways to get him involved in the passing game.”
4.Fournette getting stronger. Marrone on Monday lauded running back Leonard Fournette, who rushed for 131 yards on 29 carries against the Bengals. Fournette, who has rushed for more than 100 yards in three of the past four games, leads the AFC with 715 yards on 144 carries through seven games. “Obviously he’s really doing a nice job for us,” Marrone said. “I really think as the games are going on, he’s getting stronger. His second-half yards are leading the league. The one thing is because he’s doing such a good job of running the football – and just overall, all-purpose – it becomes more challenging each week. More teams are going to focus on him. We’ve got to do a good job as coaches. We need other guys to step up and go. That will keep his production high. If it’s just him, that’s going to be tough for us. He’s really doing a nice job. Hopefully, we can keep putting him in those situations where he can have that production.”
5.”Tough as hell…” Marrone on Monday also lauded wide receiver Dede Westbrook, who caught six passes for a season-high 103 yards Sunday while playing through a shoulder issue that had him questionable on the injury report entering the weekend. Westbrook said after the game he has been dealing with the issue since a Week 4 victory over Denver and that he expects it could linger all season. “He’s tough as hell for a guy of his stature,” Marrone said. Five of Westbrook’s six receptions Sunday produced first downs. “One thing I like about Dede is once he gets the ball in his hands, he always has a chance to do something with it,” Marrone said. Marrone also said he expected veteran wide receiver Marqise Lee to return this week after missing Sunday’s game with an ankle injury sustained in a Week 6 loss to New Orleans.