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Preseason Week 3 QB plan remains same: Henne to start, Bortles next with ones


JACKSONVILLE – The quarterback plan remains pretty much the same.

That means a couple of things for the Jaguars' third game of the 2014 preseason, the first of which is that veteran quarterback Chad Henne will start against the Detroit Lions and play about a quarter and a half.

The second is getting more attention this week.

That's because the second involves rookie quarterback Blake Bortles, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft who will take his first in-game repetitions with the first-team against Detroit, repetitions that Bradley said will come after Henne leaves the game and that likely will last about a quarter.

"You could see somewhere like a quarter and a half with Chad and a quarter with Blake," Bradley said Wednesday following the team's last full practice before playing the Lions at Ford Field in Detroit, Michigan, Friday at 7:30 p.m.

Starters typically play close to three quarters in the third game of the NFL preseason.

Bradley this week said that will pretty much be the case for the Jaguars, though veterans such as middle linebacker Paul Polsusnzy and defensive end Chris Clemons likely won't play that much. Bradley said playing time will be based on plays as much as quarters.

Bradley said the same will be true at the quarterback position.

"I hate to say exact (quarters or series), because it could be dependent on reps," Bradley said.

"About 15 plays." - HC Gus on @CecilShortsIII's playing time for #JAXvsDET. More on later — Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) August 20, 2014

Bradley also discussed the center position, saying veteran Jacques McClendon will start Friday after starting at right guard alongside center Mike Brewster in the first two games of the preseason. Rookie Brandon Linder likely will start at right guard alongside McClendon Friday as coaches continue to seek a starting combination at the two positions.

Bradley said recently Linder is likely to start at one of the two spots and he has worked at right guard much of this week. Bradley also said the Jaguars will work Brewster at center on Friday and the objective is to get rookie Luke Bowanko reps at the spot Friday, too.

Bowanko sustained an ankle injury at Chicago last Thursday but worked in individual drills Tuesday and practiced Wednesday in the team's relatively light workout.

"We'll find out how he handled it (Wednesday's work)," Bradley said of Bowanko. "Depending on how well he did, (that) will determine our (center) rotation."

Bowanko, a sixth-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, worked at center and right guard last week against Chicago. He said after practice Wednesday he considered himself day-to-day throughout the week and that he hopes to play Friday.

"It's testament to the training staff and the doctors," Bowanko said. "It has been a good couple of days … I plan on playing. I don't want to miss an opportunity to be out there. For a young guy like myself, it's pretty crucial that I'm out there.

"I don't want to jeopardize any long-term injury, but if I feel good, I want to go."

Bradley also said he expects wide receiver Cecil Shorts III and linebacker Dakoda Watson to play about 15 plays each. Each returned to practice Sunday after extended absences.

"We'll try to take them out if it's extended drives," Bradley said.

Shorts, out since the first day of training camp with a hamstring injury after missing much of the offseason, said he felt good in practice all week and improved Wednesday. Asked his excitement level for playing on Friday, Shorts replied, "Through the roof."

"Today was a really good day," Shorts said. "When Friday comes, it's go time."

Bradley said while other available receivers such as rookies Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee and veterans Kerry Taylor and Mike Brown could play pretty much the entire starters' allotment, care will be taken to limit Shorts.

"We have to treat him like the first preseason game," Bradley said.

Watson, who missed the offseason and who spent the first part of training camp on the Physically Unable to Perform List with a sports hernia, said being limited in his return was "bittersweet," but added that he would follow the protocol of trainers and coaches.

"It's great to be feeling a part of the team," Watson said. "At the same time, you still want to see where you are and you're not going to be able to find it with a couple of reps. I don't want to say it's frustrating, but you still have to be smart about it. We'll take it one day at a time and keep taking advantage of this time we have before the game to rehab and get some strengthening in and hopefully we'll be ready to go."

Bradley also said rookie wide receiver Allen Robinson, who has yet to play in a preseason game and who missed much of training camp and the offseason with a hamstring injury, will make the trip to Detroit. The team also hopes Robinson can play in the preseason finale against Atlanta on August 28.

#Jaguars HC Bradley on #JAXvsDET: "I think the starting center will be Jacques (@jmcc65)." More info later on — Jacksonville Jaguars (@Jaguars) August 20, 2014

"We hope to get him back next week," Bradley said.

Also on Friday, cornerback Jamell Fleming returned to practice after missing Thursday with an Achilles injury, while wide receiver Tandon Doss (ankle), offensive tackle Austin Pasztor (hand), offensive tackle Josh Wells (shoulder), tight end Clay Harbor (calf) and safety Craig Loston (hamstring) remained out of practice.

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