Wednesday update: Parnell, Omameh practice

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JACKSONVILLE – The offensive line news remained positive Wednesday.

As Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone sees it, the next step now is to make sure that news means something.

Starting right tackle Jermey Parnell, out the last three games with a knee injury, and starting left guard Patrick Omameh – out the last two games with a quadriceps injury – returned to practice on Wednesday.

 "I'm excited to see them back on the field," Marrone said Wednesday before practice as the Jaguars (7-4) began preparing to play the Indianapolis Colts (3-8) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.

"They're ready to go, probably on a limited basis. We'll see how it goes in practice, because there are movement skills you really can't recreate until you get out there, but I'm excited to see them out there."

The Jaguars lead the NFL in rushing with at 154.3 yards per game, but have struggled offensively in that area in recent weeks. They rushed for 79 yards as an offense in a November 12 victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, averaged 3.2 yards per carry the following week at Cleveland and rushed for a season-low 91 yards this past Sunday at Arizona.

Also Wednesday, linebacker Telvin Smith remains in the NFL's concussion protocol after sustaining a concussion in the first half Sunday at Arizona. The Jaguars, who lead the NFL in total defense and passing defense, have yet to have a defensive starter miss a game because of injury this season. 

"I think it's important in this league," Marrone said. "We all say, 'Next guy up, next guy up …' But there's a reason why the first guys were the starters. For them to stay healthy, I think that's equivalent to the success we've had on that side of the football."

Also around the Jaguars Wednesday:

*Wide receiver Allen Hurns (ankle) was the lone player aside from Smith expected to miss practice Wednesday; Hurns has missed the last two games after sustaining the injury late in the victory over the Chargers. Quarterback Blake Bortles (right wrist) was among eight players listed on the injury report and expected to practice with the others being wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee), running back Leonard Fournette (ankle), safety Tashaun Gipson (knee), linebacker Donald Payne (hamstring), linebacker Lerentee McCray (hamstring), Omameh and Parnell; Bortles has been listed on the injury report with the issue throughout the season and has started all 11 games. …

*Marrone emphasized that the Jaguars' 10-sack, 27-0 victory over the Colts in Indianapolis in no way means a similar result Sunday. "If you beat a team early in the year, you know you're going to get their best when they come back, especially this time of year," he said, adding, "I think they've gotten better. I think they're playing extremely hard." …

*Marrone said he won't hesitate to have Bortles run Sunday. The quarterback led the Jaguars in rushing against Arizona with 62 yards and two touchdowns on six carries, most of which came when he kept the ball on read-option plays. Bortles has rushed for 257 yards and two touchdowns on 41 carries this season. "We'll do whatever we can to win," Marrone said. "If that's something that's going to help us win, we have to do it. It's not like, 'Hey, listen: let's not put this player in this situation or this player in this situation.' For our team, it's what's the best thing we can do as a team to win. Everything's open right now." …

*Marrone said he likes what he has seen in two games from rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook. After missing the first nine games of the season after undergoing core-muscle surgery in September, the fourth-round selection has nine receptions for 76 yards in two games. "We targeted him 10 times the last game," Marrone said. "You go through growing pains with young players. The more they play, they get better and better. It's an experience they have to go through and they have the potential to play at a very high level." …

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