The Jacksonville Jaguars came back from the bye week the healthiest they have been all season long.
Evidently, the bye week could not have come at a better time for the Jacksonville Jaguars. As the team turned from their tie away from the game, head coach Doug Marrone told the media on Monday he expected every player eligible to be out on the practice field as they prepare for the game Sunday in Indianapolis.
"“We’re healthy after the bye, which is one of the goals that you want to do – give yourself a little bit more time, get yourself ready to go. We feel good about it,” Marrone said via Jaguars.com."
And the players and the coaching staff should feel good about it. The 4-5 record of the Jaguars is about as good a place as they could have expected, given the circumstances of the first half of 2019 and the return of Nick Foles under center at the right time to hopefully do Nick Foles things.
The game against the Colts is the first of two consecutive AFC South contests with another road contest against the Tennessee Titans a week from Sunday.
Foles is the biggest story and his return means the Jaguars get their veteran back under center, but the news that linebacker Jake Ryan was on the field for the first time as a member of this organization. The former Green Bay Packers star will hopefully add more stability to the unit as other linebackers also made their way onto the field.
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The news is also good for Foles because Dede Westbrook looks to be healthy again, or at least healed enough from injury to play on Sunday. The offense could use his speed in the slot on a fast track in Lucas Oil Field against the Colts defense.
"“The players are excited to be back,” Marrone said. “The coaches are excited to be back. We’re going to focus on having a good day today as an extra day [of practice]. We’re going to work our butts off to put ourselves in position for a good performance when we go on the road versus Indy.”"
The team dug itself a hole with the 26-3 loss to the Houston Texans in London in Week 9 of the season. The Tuesday following the game, Marrone announced that he would start Foles in the game on Sunday in place of rookie Gardner Minshew. His reasoning was the veteran, who was signed this offseason, gives the Jaguars the best chance to win on Sunday and possibly march toward a playoff berth.
"Per John Oehser, “Foles, who was placed on injured reserve immediately after his injury, returned to practice three weeks ago as allowed by NFL rules. The Jaguars activated him from injured reserve last week.”"