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Notes and observations: Big plays in the UK


JACKSONVILLE – Maybe it's an international flair.

Whatever you call it, Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns has something when it comes to playing in the United Kingdom.

That something has been special for the Jaguars in recent seasons.

Hurns, a fourth-year wide receiver, has caught 159 passes for 2,309 yards and 20 touchdowns in four NFL seasons. Few of those receptions outshine two at Wembley Stadium the past two seasons.

Hurns' 31-yard touchdown reception with 2:16 remaining against Buffalo at Wembley in 2015 was memorable first for its execution, with Hurns catching the ball as he dove toward the sideline and getting an elbow down in the front of the end zone for the reception.

It also was memorable because it gave the Jaguars a 34-31 victory in a game they once led 27-3.

Hurns turned in similar dramatics last season at Wembley.

The Jaguars, after leading 23-6, still led 23-20 with just under six minutes remaining when Hurns caught a short pass from quarterback Blake Bortles and weaved his way through the Indianapolis Colts' defense for a 42-yard touchdown in what ended as a 30-27 Jaguars victory.

Hurns said he rarely watches either play and smiled when asked if he had video of either play looping at his house.

"Nah, not like that," he said, laughing.

Said Bortles, "He tends to come up with big plays in London, so hopefully that keeps happening."

Notes and observations from around EverBank Field Wednesday:

*Brandon Linder (knee) missed practice for the Jaguars Wednesday, as did safety Tashaun Gipson (ankle) and defensive end Lerentee McCray (knee). Cornerback Jalen Ramsey (ankle), wide receiver Jaelen Strong (hamstring) and defensive tackle Malik Jackson (groin) were listed as practicing limited and Bortles (right wrist) and Hurns (shoulder) were listed as working full. …

*Strong's practice Wednesday was his first with the Jaguars after joining the team off waivers from the Houston Texans Tuesday. Strong (6-feet-4, 217), a third-round selection by the Texans in the 2015 NFL Draft from Arizona State, caught 28 passes for 292 yards and three touchdowns in two-plus seasons with the Texans. "I don't know why they let me go or anything that happened," Strong said. "I'm just trying to do anything I can to help the Jaguars." Strong will wear No. 10, and he said the reason is simple: "It's the closest number to 11, and [wide receiver] Marqise [Lee] has 11." …

*Also practicing for the first time with the Jaguars Wednesday: quarterback Ryan Nassib. Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone on Monday said the Nassib signing was about acquiring a third quarterback for practice and in case of injuries to Bortles and backup Chad Henne. Nassib played under Marrone and offensive coordinator Nate Hackett at Syracuse and played for Jaguars Executive Vice President of Football Operations Tom Coughlin when Coughlin was the New York Giants head coach from 2013-2015. "I've worked with them a long time in college, and Coach Coughlin in New York, but as time goes by things change and offenses grow," Nassib said. "I have training I have to slip back over. Even though I was in that offense [of Marrone and Hackett] for a while, I've had five years to learn a different offense. I've got to switch back my mindset." … Nassib said his approach in the coming weeks will be "just to learn and compete. Being around the league, you kind of understand the kind of role a player like myself comes into. It's one where I have to learn as fast as I can."…

*Bortles on if having played the past four seasons in London gives the Jaguars an edge over the Ravens, who will make their first London appearance Sunday: "You have a sense of comfortability the more you play. "I think there is a little bit of that. I don't know if that's the difference, or if that's what makes that happen. But there are some guys here who have gone over there for years and played there, and are comfortable being in that locker room and playing there. I think there is a little bit to that." …

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