JACKSONVILLE – Jason Babin underwent surgery Tuesday.
The Jaguars' veteran defensive end was bothered by a groin issue early in 2013 organized team activities and went to Philadelphia Tuesday for a second opinion. He had surgery while there, Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said after Tuesday's practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields.
Bradley said Babin will miss the rest of OTAs and next week's June 11-13 minicamp, but should be ready for training camp when it begins in late July.
"I guess it went really well," Bradley said of the surgery.
Babin, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, had a sack and a half after being claimed off waivers from Philadelphia with five games remaining last season. He likely will start next season at the team's new Leo position, a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker role in Bradley's defensive scheme.
Second-year veteran Andre Branch has been working extensively at the Leo during the first two weeks of OTAs. Babin had missed much of the first two weeks with knee and groin issues.
"I'm just taking this opportunity to get better," Branch said.
Bradley said Jaguars Head Athletic Trainer Mike Ryan reported that Babin's surgery went well.
"It went really good, it went really clean and they ended up taking care of it," Bradley said. "I guess it's kind of been aggravated a little bit where he's felt it so he just went up to get a second opinion on it."
VIEW FROM THE OZONE
Seven down, six to go. That's where the Jaguars stand right now with OTA/minicamp practices. So halfway through OTAs, this is a good time to go over three key issues facing the team. No. 1, backup running back. Maurice Jones-Drew is still rehabilitating his foot. There's no reason to think he won't ready for the regular season, but if he's not, the Jaguars need to be certain Justin Forsett can carry the load. The answer may be yes, but the Jaguars need to find out. No. 2: Who's opposite Cecil Shorts III. Justin Blackmon is out the first four games. Is Mohamad Massaquoi locked in on that side, or will Jedd Fisch work some combination of Massaquoi, Jordan Shipley, Ace Sanders and even Denard Robinson? You can't do everything without pads in June, but you can work that area. No. 3: Are all 22 starters on the roster? My guess is no. Head Coach Gus Bradley and General Manager David Caldwell are exploring every option. That likely will continue – maybe into the regular season. Outside linebacker, corner and defensive tackle – there are lot of areas to watch on this roster, but as we move into the second half of OTAs, those three stand out.
"We talked to them in meetings today about handing a situation where you had some time off. The challenge was to execute right from where we left off. We really challenged them. We wanted to really test them. We had goal-line and some four-minute situations we had to accomplish. I think you saw a high-tempo practice. That's what we wanted to challenge them with."
--- Head Coach Gus Bradley
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I learn each and every day from (defensive line) coach (Todd) Wash, and I go against (left tackle) Eugene (Monroe) every day. He's a dominant left tackle, and me and him are working with each other. We do a lot of things with the Leo. We drop, rush, play the run, do everything .We cover the tight end. We cover the wide receiver. We'll be all over the place. I love that."
--- Defensive end Andre Branch
The Jaguars will hold the eighth of 10 organized team activities practices at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields Wednesday at 11:25 p.m. OTA practices are closed to the public.
AROUND THE JAGUARS
*Bradley said the Jaguars likely will stay on the West Coast between their back-to-back road games at Oakland and Seattle Weeks Two and Three. "I think that's what we're talking about right now, is staying out there, so that part of the schedule actually worked in our favor," Bradley said.
*Wide receiver Justin Blackmon returned to practice after missing the second week of OTAs with a groin injury, and wide receiver Ace Sanders also practiced. Sanders had missed the early part of OTAs before returning late in Week Two. De'Leon Eskridge also returned after missing the first two weeks of OTAs attending school.
*Defensive tackle Roy Miller worked on the side Tuesday. He has missed much of OTAs with tendinitis in his knee. Bradley said for now Miller is just working in individual drills. Guard Uche Nwaneri also is slightly limited in much the same way as Miller, Bradley said. "Maybe if he's normally getting four reps he's getting three or something like that," Bradley said of Nwaneri.
*Bradley said he was pleased with the Jaguars' offense in the first OTA work after 10 days off. "I thought they did a nice job," he said. "We had some different situations. We don't look too far ahead but we do have seven practices in the next couple of weeks that are taking place and we really want to make great strides in them. We've had a chance to go through a couple of installs and now we need to see it starting to come together and more confidence within the system. I thought it was a good start today."