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On Fournette: Waiting and seeing

20181105-Monday

JACKSONVILLE – Doug Marrone will continue to wait and see.

That has been the Jaguars head coach’s approach with Leonard Fournette recently. Even with Monday’s news regarding Fournette appearing positive, Marrone said his approach won’t change.

“We’ll just see how it goes during the week,” Marrone said as the Jaguars (3-5) began preparing to play the Indianapolis Colts (3-5) at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis Sunday at 1 p.m.

Fournette, the Jaguars’ starting running back who missed six of the last seven games with a hamstring injury, practiced Monday in the team’s first practice after the bye.

Marrone, asked what Fournette’s role might be Sunday, said he wouldn’t be able to address that until later in the week when he had a better idea of Fournette’s status.

“I don’t know if he’s going to play,” Marrone said.

Marrone, meeting with the media Monday, addressed multiple injuries during a 15-minute availability. Among the topics:

The non-throwing shoulder injury sustained by quarterback Blake Bortles in a 24-18 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles in the team’s final game before the bye.

Though Bortles is expected to play in Indianapolis Sunday, the injury is significant enough that the team signed former Pittsburgh Steelers backup quarterback Landry Jones last week as a precautionary measure.

Marrone said Bortles “took his normal throws” Monday.

“Your eyes are just as good as mine,” Marrone said. “You guys saw him out there throwing. It’s early in the week and we’ll just see how it goes. Your evaluation on how he looks will be the same as mine.  I just saw he took the normal throws during practice.”

Marrone said Bortles sustained the injury in the fourth quarter of the loss to the Eagles when he was hit by linebacker Nigel Bradham, who was penalized for unnecessary roughness on the play.

Marrone also was asked Monday if there could be a quarterback change not related to injury. Bortles was replaced by backup Cody Kessler after losing two fumbles in a Week 7 home loss to the Houston Texans.

“I don’t know,” Marrone said. “Again, that’s looking into the future. Obviously, I sit here and I say to myself, ‘I hope not.’ Quarterback, you don’t make a change there if he’s playing well.”

Marrone added, “It’s a tough position to evaluate. Like I said all the time, very easy to point fingers. Sometimes it’s well deserved, sometimes there is a lot of stuff going around that has got to get a whole lot better. I think it’s a lot easier to evaluate a situation when everything around it is going well and based on that performance, you can say whether that player is doing well or not.”

Also on Monday:

*Cornerback Tyler Patmon returned to practice after missing the 24-18 loss to the Eagles just before the bye with a neck injury. Nickel cornerback D.J. Hayden, out the last six games with a toe injury, also returned to practice. “Me being at practice lets me know I’m ready to go,” Hayden said. “It’s pretty black and white.” Hayden added of the injury, “It’s real frustrating because people are like, ‘Man, it’s just your toe?’ But it can really hold you back. I’m just glad to be back out with my team.’’

*Marrone said the only players not practicing Monday were cornerback A.J. Bouye (calf), cornerback Quenton Meeks (knee) and defensive end Lerentee McCray (hamstring). He said he expected McCray likely will practice Wednesday.

*Kessler said his weekly approach won’t change with Bortles injuring his non-throwing shoulder. “That’s what I talked to [quarterbacks coach] Scott [Milanovich] about,” Kessler said. “He said, ‘Don’t change anything; just keep preparing as if you’re the starter.’ I told him that’s how I always prepare. It’s the same thing every week. Obviously with what’s going on with Blake there’s I guess more urgency with it, but not for me. I’m treating it exactly the same and preparing as I have since I first got here in OTAs (organized team activities in the offseason). I’ll go through the game plan this week and stay prepared.”

*Jones, who played five seasons for the Steelers, said he and his family were planning a trip to see his parents in Tulsa last week when he received a phone call from his agent. “I was loading up the car getting the kids ready to rock and roll,” said Landry, who lives in Dallas in the offseason. “My agent was like, ‘You’re going to Jacksonville.’ I was like, ‘All right. Cool. We’re not going to Tulsa anymore.’’’ Jones, a fourth-round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Steelers from Oklahoma, was released by the Steelers on September 1. “I was not expecting to get that phone call,” Jones said. “It was one of those things where it was out of the blue and I was ready to go.” Jones said while he watched the NFL for the first several weeks of the season to get an idea of whether a team might call, that became too frustrating. “I stopped doing that and just started watching for entertainment purposes,” he said, laughing.

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