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Pearson on crutches; Henderson shines


Second-round draft choice Mike Pearson attended this morning's practice while on crutches and wearing a protective boot on the left ankle he sprained yesterday afternoon.

"Hopefully, he'll be back soon," coach Tom Coughlin said of Pearson, who suffered a lateral ankle sprain when he stepped on another player's foot while blocking. "As soon as he can go, he'll go. I hope it's less than a week," Coughlin added of Pearson, who was getting the bulk of the practice work at left offensive tackle during the first three practice days of training camp. Veteran tackle/guard Zach Wiegert (hamstring) has been limited to an every-other-practice regimen.

In this morning's full-pads practice, the Jaguars' first-round pick, defensive tackle John Henderson, turned in his best practice of camp. "He made some nice 9-on-7 plays and made his presence felt on the goal line. He's stayed down and he's stayed low," Coughlin said of Henderson, who came out of Tennessee with the reputation for being a high-cut player.

Henderson is expected to team with 2001 first-round pick Marcus Stroud to produce the best tandem of young defensive tackles in the league. Coughlin also gave high marks to Stroud for his early-camp performance.

"Powerful man, when he sticks to that part of his game," Coughlin said. "It's hard to block him. If he sticks to the role he has to play in the defense -- neutralize the blocker -- he'll be fine."

Defensive end Tony Brackens (knee) and strong safety Donovin Darius (shoulder) did not participate in this morning's practice, and veteran wide receiver Jimmy Smith remained a contract holdout.

They missed a spirited workout on a hot morning in Jacksonville. These were some of the highlights:

  • Safety Noah Burroughs made an impressive interception of a pass by rookie quarterback David Garrard.
  • Rookie linebacker Akin Ayodele knifed into the backfield to make a dramatic stop for a loss.
  • Wide receiver Micah Ross beat Marlon McCree and Renard Cox to catch a deep pass from Mark Brunell.
  • Defensive end Paul Spicer and middle linebacker Wali Rainer combined for a forceful tackle for a loss in a "live" goal line segment.
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