FREMONT, Calif. – Here's this week's Wednesday primer.
Each Wednesday morning during the 2013 season, jaguars.com senior John Oehser will set the stage for the Jaguars' Wednesday media access by previewing major topics facing the team that day. Each Wednesday afternoon/evening, he will break down what was learned from Jaguars players and coaches that day.
Here's a look at five key Wednesday topics as the Jaguars prepare for the Seattle Seahawks . . .
1. Will it be Henne Part II on Sunday?Chad Henne started at quarterback for a seventh time for the Jaguars this past Sunday, starting slowly but putting up solid statistics in the second half of a 19-9 loss to the Oakland Raiders. His 13-yard pass to tight end Clay Harbor with 2:53 remaining was the Jaguars' first touchdown of the season, and overall, coaches were pleased with Henne's performance. Blaine Gabbert will be evaluated this week and said he's day to day, but Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said he doesn't expect Gabbert to be available.
2. How's the hand?Gabbert started at quarterback for the Jaguars in the regular-season opener, playing through a thumb injury, then sustained a lacerated hand late in that game. He missed the loss to the Raiders because of the hand injury. He was expected to have some of the 15 stitches he had in the hand after the opener removed early this week, and though Gabbert spoke to the media this week for the first time with the hand unprotected by a wrap, Bradley said early this week he doubted Gabbert will play. But whether Gabbert will throw this week and how much progress he makes will be an issue until he is healthy.
3. Will Maurice Jones-Drew be available?The Jaguars' three-time Pro Bowl running back left the loss to the Raiders with a strained tendon that was originally reported as an ankle injury. Bradley said Monday he expected Jones-Drew could play Sunday, but that he could be held out of practice this week. If Jones-Drew can't play, the Jaguars likely will utilize a combination of Jordan Todman and Justin Forsett, with Todman playing 35 snaps last week against Oakland and Forsett getting 14.
4. What about Marcedes Lewis?Lewis, the Jaguars' former Pro Bowl tight end, has missed the first two games with a calf injury, and with wide receiver Justin Blackmon suspended for the first four games, Lewis' veteran presence and versatility has been missed. Lewis was listed as doubtful before missing the Oakland game, and was expected to run Tuesday to get a feel for his status entering the week. Guard Uche Nwaneri (knee) is expected to practice Wednesday, as is rookie wide receiver Ace Sanders (rib), with cornerback Alan Ball (hamstring) possibly being held out of practice this week. Linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring) will be evaluated throughout the week, while wide receiver Mike Brown (back) is not expected to play.
5. How do the Jaguars bounce back?The start to the season has been difficult, with the Jaguars losing to the Chiefs and Raiders by double digits. Head Coach Gus Bradley said he saw improvement from a Week 1 loss to the Chiefs to a Week 2 loss to the Raiders, and on Monday, he emphasized reducing penalties and mental mistakes. The Jaguars will be huge underdogs to Seattle, one of the NFL's power teams and a team with one of the most pronounced home-field advantages in the NFL. Just how will the Jaguars handle quarterback Russell Wilson, a powerful running games and one of the NFL's best secondaries? That's a question the Jaguars will get a lot Wednesday.