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Wednesday update: Minshew Mania, injury update, more

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Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Gardner Minshew (15) calls a play at the line of scrimmage during the first half of an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

JACKSONVILLE – He has been there, done that.

So, when it comes to living, functioning and preparing amid the hype that is Minshew Mania, Gardner Minshew II seems relatively unaffected.

"I don't really pay attention to it," the Jaguars' quarterback said Wednesday.

Minshew, who on Sunday will start a third consecutive game since taking over as the starting quarterback in the wake of Nick Foles' broken clavicle, spoke Wednesday as the Jaguars (1-2) began preparing to play the Denver Broncos (0-3) at Empower Field at Mile High Sunday at 4:25 p.m.

We'll cover more Jaguars topics in this Wednesday update, including the team's injury situation and Head Coach Doug Marrone's thoughts on playing in altitude Sunday.

But a major topic around the team continues to be Minshew, and the remarkable level of attention the rookie sixth-round selection has received. That attention was magnified Saturday when he attended, amid intense fanfare, a game at Washington State, where Minshew Mania became a phenomenon when he led the Cougars to an 11-2 record last season – his lone season at the school.

Minshew, whose mustache and independent personal style has made him a fan favorite and a social-media sensation, was asked Wednesday if the "jorts" – jean shorts – he wore to Saturday's WSU game were a recent purchase specifically for the game.

"No, I've had the jorts for a long time," he said. "It's been a staple for a long, long time."

Since returning to Jacksonville, Minshew said his focus has been on preparing for Sunday's game – and he said it's not difficult to focus on the task at hand.

"I try to stay off of social media, just keep life simple," he said. "Just stay in the [playbook] book, study up and get ready for each game as it comes."

Also around the Jaguars Wednesday:

*Cornerback Jalen Ramsey missed practice with a back issue, with linebacker D.J. Alexander missing with a hamstring issue, linebacker Quincy Williams missing with an illness and wide receiver Dede Westbrook missing with a personal issue not related to injury. Center Brandon Linder, defensive end Calais Campbell and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus were limited because of coach's decisions, while linebacker Myles Jack (concussion protocol) worked full. Wide receiver Chris Conley (knee), defensive end Lerentee McCray (hamstring) and tight end Josh Oliver (hamstring) practiced limited. …

*Doug Marrone's not into worrying about altitude when it comes to playing in Denver, and the Jaguars' head coach doesn't believe playing a mile above sea level will be a factor for the Jaguars on Sunday. "I talked to the players today," Marrone said. "Having played there, coaching there many times, talking to guys in the AFC West prior to the season … we've given our players some tips." Marrone recalled that when he played for the Miami Dolphins then-head coach Don Shula had players run soon upon arrival to get used to the altitude. "I don't know whether it helped, but I remember sitting there going, 'What are we doing? This is crazy,''' Marrone said. "There's a lot to be made of it. I don't really see it being an issue. And we'll do things to make us feel even better about ourselves going there and push away the rumors or false conspiracy theories about altitude." …

*Takeaways – rather, the lack thereof – remain a topic for the Jaguars. Their lone takeaway this season came when Tennessee muffed a punt early in the first quarter last Thursday, meaning the defense hasn't forced a turnover in three games. That's unusual considering the Jaguars are tied for the NFL lead with 13 sack; pressure on the quarterback often leads to turnovers. "Hopefully, we'll be able to create some turnovers," Marrone said. "We've had opportunities, but we haven't gotten any. Obviously, that's important. … The ball has been on the ground. It has hit our hands. We just have to keep plugging away and I think we'll start getting them." …

*The Broncos this season not only haven't created a turnover, they have yet to record a sack. Marrone said statistic belies the talent of the Denver defensive front, with edge rushers Von Miller and Bradley Chubb considered two of the NFL's best. "It's an almost like an art for some of them, that they can take the ball away," Marrone said. "They do a heck of a job." …

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