Fred Taylor continues to hold up against criticism he has not recovered from his groin injury as quickly as expected. Meanwhile, first-round draft Marcus Stroud is beginning to deliver on the Jaguars' expectations for him.
"There's only so much I can do and that's to try and get better. The doctor said when it comes around, you'll know," Taylor told reporters as the Jaguars prepared for Sunday's game against visiting Baltimore.
When he originally suffered the groin injury in week two, coach Tom Coughlin talked of Taylor being out of action 3-6 weeks. Three weeks ago, Taylor's injury report status was upgraded from "out" to "questionable," though Taylor is still battling to regain his strength and quickness.
"If you (reporters) only know what you're told, then that's what you have to report. It makes (me) look bad, but you're told not to care what people think," Taylor said.
At the urging of his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, Taylor recently acquired a second medical opinion, which offered that Taylor is not recovered from a groin muscle that was partially torn from the bone.
"Whether or not I return this year, I don't know. I have to do what's best for Fred, no matter what anybody says. When it happened, I was very disappointed because I wanted this to be a big year. I'm close to the end of my contract," he said.
Stroud turned in the best performance of his rookie season in the Jaguars' loss in Pittsburgh. He played with the strength and quickness that caused the Jaguars to make him the 13th pick of last spring's draft.
"In Seattle, I just had a bad game," he said of a week-four performance that raised serious questions about Stroud's ability. "I said to myself that I'm never going to play like that again."
He hasn't. He has improved weekly and it's hoped he's on the verge of becoming a dominant defensive tackle and assume a starting role.
"I want to start, but there's no way they can put me in the starting lineup now. Seth (Payne) is doing a great job," Stroud said.