The biggest news Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone had for the media on Saturday morning was that defensive end Dante Fowler has been taken off the team’s PUP (physically unable to perform) list and will resume practice with the team.
The announcement that Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler will resume practicing with the team means he is closer to being able to play during the preseason. Fowler, who will sit out the first regular season game of the year to serve a one-game suspension mandated by the NFL, has been dealing with an injury since the end of last season.
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"“I’m just happy to see him back, to start playing,” Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said Saturday morning in at his press conference with the media.“Obviously he’s worked hard to get back – strengthening and everything. We’ll work him back in there. I’m excited to see him. He’s put in a lot of work and we’ll see what he can do.”"
Fowler’s return is a welcome sight for the defensive line, which has dealt with injuries to defensive ends, veteran Calais Campbell and rookie Taven Bryan, who is dealing with an abdominal injury. While Fowler cannot play in the game against the New York Giants, he can participate in the preseason and workout with the team.
Fowler has been part of the defensive line’s preparation in training camp and has been a regular on the field, observing one-on-one drills and learning the nuances defensive coordinator has changed since last season.
His presence in the team’s pass rush was significant as he grabbed eight sacks in the regular season, doubling his total from 2016. He also had two sacks in the playoffs.
While Bryan was held out of the team’s first preseason game of the season, a 24-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints, Marrone said there was a chance he could see action against Minnesota this Saturday night.
"“It is hard to feel someone else’s pain. I always say that, but I just think it is something that is definitely getting better, and we feel that he will be back,” added Marrone. “Obviously, hopefully before or when we practice against Minnesota. That is what we would like.”"
Campbell was held out of the game Thursday night as well due to a hamstring injury but was seen practicing this week with the rest of his teammates at the practice fields adjacent to TIAA Bank Field.
Fowler was the team’s top draft pick in 2015 out of Florida but never saw the field his rookie season. the third pick in the NFL Draft that season torn his ACL in rookie minicamp and had surgery to repair his knee.