It was back to business on Tuesday as the Jacksonville Jaguars began their preparation for the Minnesota Vikings and two joint practices before the team’s second preseason game for both teams.
The Jacksonville Jaguars returned to practice on Tuesday, the first time after an altercation on Sunday led to the suspensions of both Dante Fowler and Jalen Ramsey. With the Minnesota Vikings next on the team’s preseason schedule, which includes two days of joint practices, head coach Doug Marrone told the media on Sunday the team is moving forward.
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"“We are traveling up to Minnesota today. Jalen [Ramsey] and Dante [Fowler Jr.] are not going to be with us. They will be back on Monday,” Marrone said in his opening statement. “Again, it is team violations and as I have done in the past, I spoke to both players and obviously those conversations are private. That is really all I’m going to say about it.”"
When asked about several topics concerning the team’s decision to suspend both players, Marrone said it was something he would not comment on the incidents on speak on the process that took place Sunday afternoon and evening.
The Jaguars will have the opportunity to practice with a team that is considered a Super Bowl contender and has one of the best defenses in the NFL. The Vikings acquired quarterback Kirk Cousins this offseason and should see more time behind center and face the Jacksonville defense this Saturday.
Marrone did not answer many questions in regard to the incidents on Sunday afternoon, but did say he was pleased with the depth of the defensive line, even with Fowler out of the game and as well as Dawuane Smoot.
"“I feel good. We had 16 defensive linemen on the roster and like you mentioned, we are down two, [Dante Fowler Jr. and Dawuane Smoot], so we still have 14,” said Marrone. “We have ample bodies and people that can play.”"
The first team offense and defense will play more than the one series they did in the 24-20 loss to the New Orleans Saints last Thursday night. Marrone said joint practices continue to offer the coaching staff an opportunity to evaluate talent.
"“I think if you look at it, you have the practices that you have here as a team versus each other and that is weighted,” Marrone explained. “Then you have the preseason games and I think that is a performance … You have to be ready to go out there and get the results that you need, so I rate that a little bit higher.”"
The Vikings face a Jaguars offense that looked sound in one series. Quarterback Blake Bortles led Jacksonville down the field that last 15 plays and ended with a two-yard run but the fifth-year starter. The balance is something Marrone and the coaching staff look forward to seeing later this week.
"“When you look across the board from defensive fronts to linebackers to safeties to corners, they have outstanding, outstanding players,” explained Marrone. “I think that offensively, they have great skill players. Obviously, the offensive line has gone through a lot of adversity. I think we all know that.”"