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The Day After I: Marks resolves to stay positive


JACKSONVILLE – His teammates hurt for him.

That's understandable considering the injury he sustained Sunday, but Sen'Derrick Marks said self-pity isn't his approach.

Marks, the Jaguars' starting defensive tackle who sustained a torn anterior cruciate ligament in a season-ending loss to the Houston Texans on Sunday, said he's staying positive as he enters what will be a decidedly different offseason than he anticipated.

"You've heard of guys having it and guys coming back and playing strong," Marks said Monday as teammates cleared out their lockers at EverBank Field.

Marks, who led the Jaguars with eight and a half sacks this season, has started all 16 games in each of his two seasons with the team since signing as an unrestricted free agent in the 2013 offseason. He led the Jaguars this season with 15 tackles for loss, 16 quarterback hurries and three passes defensed.

He also was named as a Pro Bowl alternate this season.

"He was having a hell of a season, doing his thing," Jaguars defensive tackle Roy Miller said. "In the last game you're always looking for guys to come out and hopefully have something to propel them into the next season. When you go into Week 16 and you hurt yourself and you're taking a step back, that's tough to deal with in the offseason.

"With a guy like Sen'Derrick, all the things that he has done ,with the possibility of going to the Pro Bowl and playing … all of those dreams he had for himself and we had for him … it's just sad to see that happen. But I believe he's going to bounce back."

Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny said Marks told him Monday, "You know I'll be back."

"He's going to fight back and rehab and hopefully we'll have him at some point early next season," Posluszny said. "You hate to see it, because he had such a great year and is playing so well. You just want to see him get out of the year healthy. That's a tough deal for him."

Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III agreed.

"It's unfortunate that it happened in the last game," Shorts said. "He was having a hell of a year. I'm happy for him because of the season and disappointed that it had to end this way. I'm sure he'll get back healthy. He's a hard worker and I'm sure he'll be back better than ever."

Marks sustained the injury on the Texans' second touchdown of the game Sunday, a 1-yard run by Alfred Blue. While being blocked by Texans right tackle Derek Newton, he said he tried to sturdy the leg and felt something move in his knee.

"I knew as soon as it happened it was something bad," Marks said. "I didn't know it was an ACL."

Marks said he has drawn on the experiences of teammates such as end Chris Clemons, cornerback Aaron Colvin and safety Sherrod Martin. All have torn ACLs and returned to play. Colvin sustained a torn ACL in the Senior Bowl last January, and after missing the first 10 games of his rookie season played at a high level in the final six games.

Players' timetables for returning from ACL can vary from player to player.

Marks first will wait for the swelling in the area to subside and then go through the "prehab" process.  He said Monday he wants to have his reconstructive surgery as soon as possible.

"I'm going to stay positive, hopefully have the surgery soon and continue to work," Marks said. "I feel confident. I'm going to keep my mind that way. I'm not going to let it get me down. I'm going to continue to think that way and stay positive."

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