JACKSONVILLE – Quincy Williams returned to practice Tuesday.
While that's important, that was only part of the positive injury news for the Jaguars Tuesday as they continued to return to health during the final week of the 2019 preseason.
Williams, a rookie linebacker who sustained a slight meniscus tear early in training camp, worked in individual drills as the team prepared for Thursday's preseason finale.
"That's a good break for us; we're on schedule with him," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said as the Jaguars (0-3 in the 2019 preseason) prepared to play the Atlanta Falcons (0-4) at TIAA Bank Field Thursday at 7 p.m.
Also returning to practice Tuesday: Second-year wide receiver D.J. Chark, who sustained a concussion against Miami last Thursday; and veteran offensive tackle Leonard Wester, who had been out of practice since the Miami game.
Marrone on Tuesday also discussed the continued the Jaguars' right-guard competition. We'll cover that later in this story.
Williams, a third-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft projected as the starting weak-side linebacker, missed the Jaguars' first three preseason games. He is taking over the position previously held by Telvin Smith, a Pro Bowl selection following the 2017 season who announced his retirement this past offseason.
"It feels great, just to get to run around with my teammates," Williams said. "The hardest part has been standing on the sideline watching my teammates have fun. As far as getting on the field, they have a good process for me. I'm working toward it. I'm following the protocol and it's going great.
"I've been doing a lot of meeting time, so I'm not that far behind."
Williams was asked if he will be ready for the Jaguars' regular-season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs at TIAA Bank Field September 8.
"For sure," he said.
Marrone said the team has yet to decide if Williams will play Thursday.
"We just got him out here today," Marrone said. "We're going to go back in and we're going to look at it and see what's going on. It's a Catch-22. There's big part of me that says, 'Hey, I want him to do that. I want him to go through pregame. I want him to go out there and get a feel for it.'
"But there's another part of me that says, 'Listen, he looks really good. He's ready to roll. Do I want to put him out there?' Those are the tough calls. It's going to come down to my plate, but I just want to get all the information first."
Chark, a second-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, was injured on a kickoff return against the Dolphins. He has been working with Dede Westbrook and Chris Conley as one of the team's top three receivers entering the season.
Tight end Geoff Swaim (foot) practiced for a second consecutive day after returning Monday, while the following players missed practice or worked on the side: wide receiver Terrelle Pryor Sr., running back Alfred Blue (ankle), linebacker Jake Ryan (knee), defensive end Lerentee McCray, offensive tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (hamstring), tight end Josh Oliver (hamstring) and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (elbow).
Many front-line players and starters are expected to be held of Thursday's game, as typically is the case in the preseason finale.
"We're making decisions now," Marrone said. "Obviously, there will be players who aren't going to play. We're trying to make good decisions because we're probably going to have a real hard type of workout for the guys who aren't playing. We're trying to figure out who we're going to need to play, who we're going to need to work out and who's injured and banged up. That's the process we're going through."
Also on Tuesday:
*Marrone discussed the right-guard competition between A.J. Cann and Will Richardson, saying he doesn't believe the duo needs to play Thursday. "I don't think I need to put them in the game to figure out [who will start],'' Marrone said. "I think we have enough practices left to do that." Cann, the starter the past four seasons, started the first two preseason games. Richardson started against Miami and Marrone said this week there is little to separate the two. "I think we're going to see where we are," Marrone said. "I'm happy with where both guys are. I think both guys have played better than they have previously, which is a good thing. It's a tough decision. I don't know if one guy's going to be the starter and that's it. I have platooned players before – a couple of series. Those are the decisions we'll make going into the first game."