JACKSONVILLE – Jawaan Taylor’s excited about the opportunity.
The Jaguars’ rookie right tackle is expected to play his first NFL preseason game Thursday, a game that could feature the team’s starting 2019 offensive line working together for the first time.
“I’m looking forward to it; it’s going to be a great experience,” Taylor said Tuesday as the Jaguars prepared to play the Miami Dolphins in 2019 Preseason Week 3 at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, Thursday at 8:15 p.m.
The Jaguars remain hopeful that all starting offensive linemen will play Thursday, with no members of the line ruled out Tuesday.
The projected starting line of left tackle Cam Robinson, left guard Andrew Norwell, center Brandon Linder, right guard A.J. Cann/Will Richardson and Taylor all practiced this week for the first time. Robinson, Norwell and Taylor had missed the first two preseason games with injury issues.
“We’ll see how it plays out,” Marrone said. “You put a lot of stuff in your mind of what you’re looking to see. Just like all you guys: I’m anxious and curious to see what maybe we’re doing well. There are probably a lot of things we need to work on in these next couple of weeks before the season starts.”
Head Coach Doug Marrone on Tuesday listed the players who had been ruled out for Thursday: wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee), running back Alfred Blue (ankle), linebacker Jake Ryan (knee), linebacker Quincy Williams (knee), linebacker Davis Tull (leg), tight end Charles Jones, tight end Geoff Swaim, tight end Josh Oliver (hamstring) and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (elbow).
“We’re going to go back in tonight and look at playing time, who we want play, what we want to look at,” Marrone said. “Obviously, the players that can play are going to play. … The rest of those guys, we’re going to see. But we’re going to make those decisions later on today about how much.”
Marrone held 30 players out of the preseason opener against Baltimore and 27 players out of Preseason Week 2 against Philadelphia with the idea of entering the regular season as healthy as possible. That included front-line players such as quarterback Nick Foles, cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Calais Campbell as well as numerous other experienced starters.
He has said for the past week healthy players – including starters – will play against Miami because of the “dress-rehearsal” nature of Preseason Week 3. The Jaguars have treated the week as they would a regular-season game, keeping to the same schedule they would use in the regular season and game-planning on a basic level for the Dolphins.
Among the notable players who could play for the first time this preseason Thursday: Robinson, who missed the last 14 games of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He was removed from the physically unable to perform list August 12 and returned to team drills in practice Sunday.
“He’s going to play, so I’d say that’s a pretty good progression,” Marrone said.
“I think it will be helpful,” Robinson said. “I think at this point, we’re just kind of being smart with it. We’re kind of taking a day-by-day approach. If I’m able to I will. If we don’t think it’s what’s best, we won’t do it.”