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Open Locker Room: WRs Cecil Shorts III, Allen Hurns probable


JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars' wide receiver corps is healthier than first expected.

A day after one front-line receiver was ruled out for Sunday's regular-season home opener, the Jaguars on Friday received far better news about the oft-injured group.

Cecil Shorts III, the Jaguars' most experienced wide receiver, has been listed as probable on the final injury report of the week, meaning he is expected to play on Sunday for the first time this season. That news came the same day that rookie Allen Hurns practiced full in a light Friday practice after not practicing early in the week.

"I think we'll see how he (Shorts) feels today but it went pretty good out there," Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said Friday as the Jaguars (0-2) prepared to play the Indianapolis Colts (0-2) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

"If everything goes good and we get the (favorable injury) report then he'll start."

Hurns also is listed as probable for Sunday.

"Everything that I know right now, Hurns practiced pretty well today, so we feel pretty good about that one," Bradley said.

The news regarding Hurns and Shorts came a day after rookie wide receiver Marqise Lee, a starter in the first two games, had been ruled out with an ankle injury.

Shorts, who missed the first two regular-season games with a hamstring injury, practiced limited on Wednesday and Thursday and full on Friday. He missed the first two preseason games with a hamstring issue, and then played the final two preseason games before tweaking it before the regular-season opener.

"The last two days went very well," Shorts said. "I'm excited to get back out there and make plays with my teammates again. It's been a long wait. It's been an up-and-down offseason, but I'm excited to go out there and get after it on Sunday."

Shorts said he doesn't expect to be limited Sunday.

"I plan on playing the whole game, so let's go," he said.

Shorts, the Jaguars' leading receiver over the past two seasons, had been unable to work extensively late in the week the past two weeks.

"I feel a whole lot better compared to previous weeks," Shorts said. "I'm excited to be out there."

Hurns, a starter in the first two games of the season, sustained an ankle injury on the Jaguars' last offensive play in a loss to Washington last Sunday. He was in a boot early in the week and did not practice Wednesday or Thursday, but worked full Friday.

Hurns, Shorts, rookie Allen Robinson and second-year veteran Mike Brown likely will be the active receivers Sunday. Bradley said early in the week he doubts Tavarres King – signed from the Carolina practice squad Tuesday – will be active Sunday.

Bradley also said the light nature of the practice Friday – no helmets and no shoulder pads – was to focus on mental preparation. The Jaguars committed multiple mental errors in the loss to Washington, including double-digit errors by the receivers and 10 missed assignments defensively.

The Jaguars also had 21 missed tackles and allowed 10 sacks.

"We still went through practice with a pretty good tempo," Bradley said. "We were just kind of tightening things down some of the most common things we do on offense and defense."

Bradley added of the week, "Overall I think we had two really good hard practices and to come back with more of a mental approach … we still ran the routes and things like that but I really wanted them to focus on that."

Also around the Jaguars Friday:

*University of Florida men's basketball coach Billy Donovan met with Bradley Friday morning and spoke to the team. Bradley said he and Donovan have talked periodically and share similar coaching philosophies. "It worked out for today and I asked him as long as he is making a trip if he would speak to the team and he did a great job, great job," Bradley said. "His message was about trust and a deep love for your teammate. I think that it's something that resonated with our players. I think our players really are connected and close but I think he challenged them to take it to another level." …

*Rookie quarterback Blake Bortles spoke to the media Friday, covering several topics including his learning process as he backs up veteran Chad Henne. Bortles said running the scout team each of the past three weeks has been beneficial. "Unless you go out there and just completely blank out for two hours, you're going to learn something," he said. "Staying focused is something (quarterback coach) Frank (Scelfo) is huge on. … Getting a mental rep every play and deciding where you would have thrown the ball on that play is good.'' …

*Tight end Clay Harbor (calf) was listed as questionable on the final injury report of the week after working limited Thursday and Friday. Bradley said it's 50-50 if Harbor plays Sunday, though Harbor – out since early in training camp – said he could play if he feels as good as he did Friday in practice. …

*Right tackle Austin Pasztor (hand) was listed as probable. Bradley said earlier in the week if Pasztor plays Sunday it will be as a backup to Sam Young. Pasztor missed the first two regular-season games with a hand injury, and practiced with a club on the hand this week. …

*Running back Toby Gerhart was listed as probable after missing practice Wednesday and working limited Thursday with a foot injury. Gerhart worked full Friday. …

*Cornerback Alan Ball (abdomen), middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (knee), safety Johnathan Cyprien (concussion), running back Storm Johnson (ankle), tight end Mickey Shuler (heel), defensive end Chris Clemons (illness) and safety Winston Guy (illness) were listed as probable. All worked full Friday.

*Cornerback Jeremy Harris did not practice Friday because of illness, but was listed as probable for Sunday. …

*Defensive tackle Roy Miller and linebacker Geno Hayes worked full after having veteran days off Thursday and will play Sunday.

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