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Open Locker Room: Miller doubtful for finale


JACKSONVILLE – Roy Miller's maintaining hope.

But to listen to Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley, the defensive tackle's status on the team's final injury report of the week is pretty accurate.

Miller, a sixth-year veteran who started the first 14 games this season at nose tackle, on Friday was listed as "doubtful" for Sunday's regular-season finale at Houston. Though Miller said he still plans to try to play, doubtful means there is a 75 percent chance the player won't play.

Bradley said a decision likely will be made Saturday.

"This is not going to be a game-time decision," Bradley said as the Jaguars (3-12) prepared to play the Texans (8-7) at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, Sunday at 1 p.m.

Wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (shoulder) and running back Toby Gerhart (ribs) were listed as probable on Friday's injury report after being listed as working limited all three days this week. Defensive end Andre Branch (groin) also was listed as probable after being listed as working full all week.

Miller, who did not practice any day this week, was the only Jaguars player listed as questionable or doubtful.

"I've been getting better every day," Miller said. "It's just one of those things you have to keep grinding and working and see what you have."

Bradley said the Jaguars likely will work Miller out Saturday, and then make a decision about his status for Sunday.

"I think we're just competing to try to extend it as far as we can and see tomorrow (Saturday)," Bradley said. "We're cautiously, very cautiously optimistic. We'll know more tomorrow."

Also around the Jaguars Friday:

*Bradley said he liked how the Jaguars practiced Friday after having Christmas Day off the day before. "I thought it was excellent execution in some aspects," he said. "As (Jaguars General Manager) Dave (Caldwell) and I were standing back there, we felt like offensively the execution and stuff, it was one of our best Fridays of the whole year." …

*Bradley said the team may explore changing practice schedule next season, with a day off Thursday a possibility. NFL teams historically have Tuesdays as the players' off day, and that has been the Jaguars' schedule under Bradley. "It was a good chance for us to evaluate how that feels for our players and how fresh they come back," Bradley said, adding that while he overall liked a lot about how the Jaguars ran practice this season, "The one thing we need to look at is, 'When is their day off?' … I think that's why this week was important." …

*Bradley said Branch has looked good in practice this week – enough so that he doesn't expect the third-year veteran end to have his repetitions or situations limited Sunday. Branch has missed seven of the last eight games, missing four games after sustaining the injury in a Week 7 victory over the Cleveland Browns then three more after re-injuring it against the New York Giants November 30. "I think he feels better going into it," Bradley said, adding, "We're making sure this week." Branch was listed as working full Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. …

*Quarterback Blake Bortles (foot), center Luke Bowanko (wrist), defensive end Chris Clemons (knee) and wide receiver Tommy Streeter (abdomen) were listed as probable after being listed as working full all week. …

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