Notes and observations: Home finale, Wells’ return

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Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Josh Wells (72) blocks Tennessee Titans defensive end Matt Dickerson (92) in an NFL game Sunday, September 23, 2018 in Jacksonville, Fl. (Rick Wilson via AP)

JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser’s Wednesday Jaguars notes and observations: Head Coach Doug Marrone on the 2018 regular-season home finale, the return of left tackle Josh Wells, more …

1.When the Jaguars play host to the Washington Redskins Sunday, it will be the last game of the 2018 regular season at TIAA Bank Field. “I have talked to the team about that,” Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said Wednesday. Marrone said while a 4-9 record after a 3-1 start makes the season “disappointing,” a chance to win the final home game matters very much. “This is our last time to play at home,” Marrone said. “Let’s go out and give them a good performance. We owe it to the fans. They have been through [this season] just like we have been through this season. For us it is extremely important to go out there and play well and get a win.” Said defensive tackle Malik Jackson: “You just try to show the fans appreciation and try to show thanks to them for everything. The team changes every year, so you’re just trying to go out and say, ‘Thank you.’ Guys might not be playing here, so it’s about going out and trying to have a great everlasting memory of that place.’’

2.Josh Wells may get a second chance to make an impression this season. Wells, a fourth-year veteran who signed with the Jaguars as rookie free agent following the 2014 NFL Draft, started at left tackle in Weeks 3-5 following a season-ending knee injury sustained by Cam Robinson. Wells has been on injured reserve since sustaining a groin injury in Week 5 against Kansas City, but Marrone said on Wednesday Wells could return to the active roster this week. “He looks to be ready to go,” Marrone said. Wells also could return to the starting lineup because right tackle Jermey Parnell missed practice Wednesday with a knee injury. Marrone on Wednesday said Parnell is pretty “banged up,” adding that Wells “absolutely” could play if Parnell is unavailable. “If that’s an opportunity I get, then for sure I’ll be ready to roll,’’ Wells said, adding of his injury and return: “It’s tough initially, but it is what it is. It’s how you respond and how you handle it. It’s putting your head down and going back to work. I’m just hoping for an opportunity.”

3.Adrian Peterson was a primary topic around the Jaguars Wednesday. “He looks like AP,” Jaguars defensive tackle Abry Jones said. That means the Redskins’ running back – now in his 12th NFL season – still looks like a player who has rushed for 1,000 yards or more seven times. “He’s a little older, but the competitiveness, the drive, how hard he’s running – everything’s still there. …” Jones said. “When you go against a guy who’s a future Hall of Famer, you get excited.” Jones was asked if there was something striking about a player with so many NFL seasons still playing at a high level. “That’s how I feel every time I look at [Jaguars defensive end] Calais [Campbell],” Jones said. “When you have a closeup view, it makes you think. People like him and Calais really show you the grind and the sacrifice is really worth it in the end. With guys like them, it’s bigger than money.” Jones added with a smile, “Calais has gotten paid a lot, but he’s one of the people you can’t really tell. He’s a horrible dresser, but he’s a good guy.”

4.Peterson is more than a feel-good story this season. He has been effective in his first season with the Redskins. Peterson, whose last 1,000-yard season came when he rushed for 1,485 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2015 in his last full season with the Minnesota Vikings, has rushed for 872 yards and seven touchdowns on 202 carries this season. The Jaguars rank 21st in the NFL against the run this season, having allowed 264 yards rushing in a loss to Tennessee Thursday. Titans running back Derrick Henry rushed for a franchise-record 238 and four touchdowns in the game, the most ever by a runner against the Jaguars. “We are going to put a big emphasis on tackling over the next two days at practice,” Marrone said. “That is the one thing. You have a running back coming in here, Adrian Peterson, that has those qualities. Tough to bring down. Gets a lot of yards after contact and things of that nature. That is a challenge. We understand that. We can’t tackle like we did last week against this team.”

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