The Jacksonville Jaguars spent Thursday afternoon prepping for their first preseason game against the Miami Dolphins with a walkthrough. There wasn’t much to report on the field but there were plenty of key notes coming after practice was over.
The biggest, and least surprising, news to come after practice was the announcement of Blaine Gabbert starting Friday against the Dolphins. Yes, it’s the first preseason game and it won’t really matter too much but Gabbert has a chance to distance himself from Chad Henne if he plays with some consistency.
Clearly head coach Gus Bradley is trying to keep up the appearance of a quarterback competition. Henne will get some snaps with the first team but those will likely come against mostly backups on the Dolphin’s defense.
The Jaguars will be missing several key players, but that should come as no surprise. There’s no reason to rush veteran Maurice Jones-Drew back into action after a major foot injury. The same logic applies to Cecil Shorts III, whose injury is minor. We know Shorts and MJD can deliver when the games start to matter. Jonathan Cyprien and Justin Blackmon have been held out all of training camp so far and probably won’t see action until the third preseason game at the earliest.
With so many players out who are expected to start when healthy, we’ll see a lot of young faces in the starting lineup. Rookie receivers Ace Sanders and Tobias Palmer will get plenty of looks tomorrow as will offensive weapon Denard Robinson.
Defensively we’ll probably see rookie Josh Evans rotated into the lineup early along with the three cornerbacks Caldwell drafted – Dwayne Gratz, Jeremy Harris, and Demetrius McCray.
- Daniel Lago
Yell at me on Twitter @dlago89