More than 6,000 tickets to the Jaguars' two preseason home games have been made available to area firefighters and representatives of the American Red Cross who helped victims of the fires that afflicted Northeast Florida in June and July.
The tickets were a combination of those returned to the team by season ticket holders who didn't plan to attend the games, and additional tickets provided by the Jaguars out of the available ticket inventory.
The firefighters in attendance will be recognized at both games. On July 15, the Jaguars donated $100,000, matched by a $100,000 grant by NFL Charities, to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund to help victims of the fires.
"This is a chance for all of us to recognize the heroic and tireless efforts of the firefighters who came to Northeast Florida from all across the region to help," said Jaguars owner Wayne Weaver. "We're pleased that season ticket holders have joined us by donating their tickets to the firefighters, and they can still do so. We hope to show the firefighters two exciting Jaguars games at ALLTEL Stadium."
The Jaguars went through a morning workout at Ferrell Fields, as their preseason opener at Carolina approaches.
"We worked in shells, but it was a good practice," said Jaguars head coach Tom Coughlin. "We worked on speedwork, and all of the quarterbacks got to work. The players will benefit from the rest in the afternoon, and then (on Thursday) we'll have two practices and work a limited extent on the Carolina game."
Seven players missed the practice with injuries: C Michael Cheever (back), LB Bryce Paup (groin), DT Kelvin Pritchett (hyperextended elbow), G/OT Jeff Novak (shin contusion), S Donovin Darius (high groin), WR Kevin Lee (hamstring) and RB Chris Parker (knee). DT Jose White and TE Damon Jones returned to practice.
Regarding the Carolina game, Coughlin commented. "Our mindset is that we always want to win every game we play. But we will not sacrifice the objectives we have in order to win. We will play every player who makes the trip. If we want to see a player in the third quarter, he'll play in the third quarter regardless of what the score is."
The Jaguars will practice at 8:40 a.m. and 3:20 p.m. Thursday and will have a closed walk-through on Friday before leaving for Carolina that afternoon. They will play their preseason opener against the Panthers at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Ericsson Stadium.