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Preseason Week 3: Opportunity for Beachum, Jack


JACKSONVILLE – Gus Bradley's not sure exactly who will play how long Sunday.

The Jaguars' head coach said some Preseason Week 3 playing time will depend on how many snaps the starters gets early – and in the case of one high-profile player, it will depend on how his knee feels.

But Bradley said a lot of players – players such as rookies Myles Jack and Yannick Ngakoue, and players such as veteran left tackle Kelvin Beachum – should get their most extensive work of the preseason against Cincinnati.

And to Bradley, that's what's most notable about Sunday's prime-time game at EverBank Field.

"We still have a lot of fact-finding to do," Bradley said as the Jaguars prepared to play the Bengals at EverBank Field Sunday at 8 p.m. "We'll put some guys in different positions just to see how they handle a heightened environment. …

"We've still got to find out some things about players and how they respond. We'll have some of those things mixed into the game as well, but we're excited."

Bradley on Friday detailed several playing-time scenarios for Sunday:

*Beachum likely will start at left tackle with Luke Joeckel starting at guard. Beachum, who missed the first two preseason games while returning from a torn anterior cruciate ligament sustained with Pittsburgh last season, is competing for the left tackle position with Joeckel. Bradley said Beachum likely will play 15-to-25 plays. "We'll visit after every series to see how he is," Bradley said, adding that Beachum could leave the game and return if early-game fatigue is in issue.

*While Joeckel likely will start at guard next to Beachum, Bradley said Joeckel could move to tackle when Beachum leaves the game. Joeckel, who started at left tackle the past two seasons, played well while starting at left tackle in the first two preseason games. Bradley emphasized this week that Beachum starting Sunday does not mean that the Week 1 starter has been decided.

*Rookies and first-year players such as Jack, Ngakoue and defensive tackle Richard Ash could get work with the starters in the first half. All previously had played primarily in backup roles during the preseason. "We just need to find out about these guys," Bradley said. "For us, it's still the third preseason game. We need to find some information so you may see some guys in position just more for evaluation."

*Bradley also said defensive tackles Roy Miller (quad) and defensive tackle Sheldon Day (back) will miss Sunday's game, as will safety James Sample (shoulder). Miller and Sample played in the preseason opener and Day has been out since early August.

*Defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks is expected to play Sunday after missing practice Thursday and Friday because of a death in his family.

Bradley also on Friday said defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. had a good week of practice and preparation, working closely with defensive coordinator Todd Wash. Fowler has yet to have a sack in two preseason games, and Bradley and Wash both have said it's important for Fowler to improve studying opponents and preparation.

"I give him a lot of credit," Bradley said of Fowler, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2015 NFL Draft who missed his rookie season with a torn ACL. "It's been challenging as far as the film study and every day practice and things like that. … He's really spent extra time with Washer [Todd Wash] watching film. He's really taking this like it's a game week-type structure for him."

Bradley was asked if it was important for Fowler to get his first sack Sunday.

"It's extremely important to him," Bradley said. "When it's that important to you, you want to do well. So it'll be important to watch him and see how he handles some things, but this week the arrow's up for him."

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