JACKSONVILLE – Todd Wash remains ready.
That has been the Jaguars' defensive coordinator's approach with cornerback Jalen Ramsey in recent weeks, and it's the approach he will continue to take.
Ramsey has missed the last two games with a back injury, but Jaguars Owner Shad Khan told The Street this week that he had a "heart-to-heart" conversation with Ramsey – and that he thinks the two-time Pro Bowl selection will play Sunday.
"If Jalen does play, obviously we have a plan for him to play," Wash said as the Jaguars (2-3) prepared to play the New Orleans Saints (4-1) at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
Ramsey requested a trade following a Week 2 loss at Houston. He started a Week 3 victory over Tennessee, but missed practice the following week because of sickness, the back injury and the birth of his child. He did not play against Denver that Sunday.
Ramsey missed last Sunday's loss to Carolina after missing practice last week. He practiced limited with the back injury Wednesday and is expected to practice Thursday.
"Obviously, it was great to see him out there on the grass [Wednesday], out there communicating with his teammates and that kind of stuff," Wash said. "I love the energy he brings to practice. But at the same time, if he doesn't play, it's our job as coaches to develop a plan."
Wash his relationship with Ramsey remains strong. Ramsey at times has been critical of how he is used within the Jaguars' scheme.
"Obviously Jalen and I have had some talks in the past," Wash said. "It was probably about three years ago that happened. He has matured a lot, and so have I just been dealing with Jalen. I think we have a very good personal relationship. I just like to have him on the grass and be able to communicate with him."
The Jaguars held the Texans to 13 points and the Titans to seven points in Ramsey's last two games. They allowed 24 points to Denver and 34 to Carolina in the two games he has missed.
Wash was asked if teams attacked the Jaguars' differently without Ramsey.
"Obviously he's a guy you can put over there and for the most part you say, 'I don't have to worry about that wide receiver,' " Wash said. "When Jalen's healthy, we put him on the best guys they have. He allows us to do some things schematically. When Jalen's not out on the grass, then it probably maybe opens up their packages. I'm not sure how they feel, but we feel he can eliminate a side of the field."
Ramsey, the No. 5 overall selection in the 2016 NFL Draft, played the first 51 regular-season games of his career before the ongoing back injury.
"The first game that he wasn't there, prior to the national anthem, I said [to Ramsey] 'Boy, it's been a long time since I haven't seen you on the grass – in my days as a coordinator and you as a player,''' Wash said. "It's just different not having him out there. But I think our team feels very confident with the guys who are playing on the back end.
"I know we feel confident as coaches that they'll go out and execute the game plan and put us in a position to hopefully win the game."