JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser's Thursday notes and observations: cornerback A.J. Bouye practices full, running back Leonard Fournette not second-guessing hamstring injury, offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett committed to run …
1.The Jaguars got good news on the injury front Thursday, with cornerback A.J. Bouye practicing full for the first time since sustaining a calf injury last month. Bouye, a second-team Associated Press All-Pro selection last season, practiced full Thursday after working limited Wednesday. He missed the last two games after starting the first seven. Linebacker/defensive end Lerentee McCray also practiced full Thursday after practicing limited Wednesday while weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith (shoulder) and free safety Tashaun Gipson (wrist) worked full for a second consecutive day. Guard A.J. Cann was added to the injury report with a hamstring injury while left tackle Ereck Flowers (knee) and nose tackle Marcell Dareus (triceps/back) were limited for a second consecutive day. Nose tackle Eli Ankou (calf), cornerback Quenton Meeks (knee) and left tackle Josh Walker (foot/ankle) missed practice for a second consecutive game. The Jaguars on Friday will release their final game status report in advance of their game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
2.Leonard Fournette said his confidence his 100 percent. "I have it now," the Jaguars' second-year running back said. "I don't second-guess my injury that I had or nothing like that. I go out there and play full force." Fournette said that was the case last Sunday in his first game after missing four consecutive games with a hamstring injury, and he expects it to remain the case moving forward. Fournette rushed for 53 yards on 24 carries in a 29-26 loss to the Colts Sunday, catching five passes for 56 yards. Fournette, who caught and ran for a touchdown in the same game for the first time in 16 NFL career games, said he expects to continue playing his way into game shape. "It's a difference," said Fournette, who finished a game Sunday for the first time this season after leaving before halftime in his two other appearances this season. "No matter what you do during practice, it's always different from the game – especially with the volume of carries you're going to get and the amount of snaps you're going to play." Fournette said while his 29 touches Sunday surprised him, "We don't have no pitch counts here. If it happens, it happens."
3.Offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett on Thursday didn't give an ideal pitch count for Fournette. He did call the commitment to run against the Colts a positive. "I think you always want to," Hackett said. "Obviously, it's the flow of the game. There are times when things aren't going your way and you have to open it up a little bit, but if it's going your way and you're getting chunks of yards, you have to continue to do it. I think we committed to the run game and kept handing it off no matter what the situation was, and it definitely helped us." Jaguars backs have yet to combine for 100 yards rushing in a game this season, with the group of Fournette, T.J. Yeldon and Carlos Hyde combining for 70 yards on 30 carries against the Colts. Still, Hackett said Fournette and the run remain the offense's identity. "Any time you have a guy like that, you always feel better handing the ball off trying to get some positive yards," Hackett said. "It goes with all of those guys; you want to be in that position. In these past couple of games, there are times we haven't been able to be there. Looking at last year, having the backs we've had, that was what we wanted to do. That's the same point now." The Jaguars, after leading the NFL in rushing last season with 141.4 yards rushing per game, rank 26th in the NFL in rushing this season at 94.6 yards per game.
4.Look for defensive end Taven Bryan to get more opportunities moving forward, and defensive coordinator Todd Wash said the rookie first-round selection is ready. Bryan, the No. 29 overall selection by the Jaguars in the 2018 NFL Draft from the University of Florida, has nine tackles with no sacks or pressures this season while playing as a backup at strong-side end and three-technique defensive tackle. "He's playing multiple positions, which is tough as a rookie," Wash said. "You're going to see more and more reps as we go through the rest of the year for him because we've started seeing some stuff in practice. He's really developing within the technique. You're going to see him get more and more reps as we go."