JACKSONVILLE – Another week, another physical challenge.
That's what Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone emphasized when speaking to the media three days after a big, emotional victory over a perennial NFL power and four days before what could be an equally big, emotional division opener.
"We're trying to manage the schedule and get ourselves back," Marrone said Wednesday morning as the AFC South-leading Jaguars (2-0) prepared to play the Tennessee Titans (1-1) at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
Marrone, speaking three days after the Jaguars' 31-20 victory over the defending AFC Champion New England Patriots, said the physicality of the first two games will be a factor this week.
"We're kind of banged up a little bit," he said.
A development on that front came Wednesday morning with the news that running back Leonard Fournette is expected to practice Wednesday.
Fournette, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, missed the victory over the Patriots with a hamstring issue sustained in a Week 1 victory over the New York Giants. Fournette missed all three Jaguars practices last week.
Marrone said the circumstances around Sunday's game against Tennessee should help the Jaguars move forward from a high-profile victory over the Patriots, who beat the Jaguars in the AFC Championship Game in January. The Titans beat the Jaguars twice last season, games that marked the Jaguars' only two divisional losses en route to the AFC South title.
The Titans also are the lone team to beat the Jaguars twice since Marrone took over as interim coach late in the 2016 season. The Titans' 37-13 victory over the Jaguars in Week 2 of last season also marks the Jaguars' most one-sided loss of Marrone's tenure.
"It's a divisional opponent, early in the season – things of that nature," Marrone said. "All of those things contribute to it [moving on from New England]"
The Jaguars have won seven consecutive games at TIAA Bank Field, and Sunday's game will have a major effect on the division standings.
If the Jaguars win Sunday and Indianapolis loses at defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia, the Jaguars would hold a two-game lead on the rest of the division. If the Titans win, Tennessee would lead the South because of a head-to-head tiebreaker against the Jaguars and a better record in the division.
Marrone said he also expects Sunday's game to be similar to the Giants and Patriots games in one significant area.
"We had an opener on the road in New York, which was a real tough, physical game," Marrone said. "We had a home opener here with New England, which was a tough, physical game. We know we're going to get into a tough, physical game with a divisional opponent."
*Running back T.J. Yeldon (ankle) is expected to miss practice for the Jaguars Wednesday, with running back Brandon Wilds (illness), tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (core muscle) and center Brandon Linder (knee) also expected to miss practice. Yeldon missed practice with an ankle issue last Friday before starting against the Patriots, with Seferian-Jenkins having missed practices in recent weeks with the core-muscle issue while starting each of the first two games. Linder is expected to miss practice Wednesdays during the regular season to rest the knee. …
*The following players are expected to practice despite being listed on the injury report: right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee), Fournette and right guard A.J. Cann (shoulder). …