The Jacksonville Jaguars held their first padded practice of the year Sunday and head coach Doug Pederson talked about what it meant for the team.
Pederson met with the local media before Day 6 of training camp and said that player safety was the top priority and noted that the team is entering the stage of the year when “things get ramped up“.
"For the first time in pads, the number one thing is player safety and protecting each other, practicing hard, practicing smart, and being smart about it. Nobody’s going into the ground. Hopefully, we tried to stay off the ground, no live tackling, things like that. But you’re kind of getting used to wearing the extra gear now. We’re kind of getting into that part of training camp where things get ramped up."
Pederson goes on to say that it’s encouraging to see the level of physicality in practice but the team needs to keep making sure that “they play smart, play headsy and control that”. Later in the sitdown, the Jaguars shared injury updates on right guard Walker Little and defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi. The former is dealing with a hamstring injury and the latter has a calf injury.
The Jaguars are relatively healthy ahead of the preseason
The Jaguars are dealing with a few injuries but none of them seem to be serious. The biggest one is probably the torn Achilles running back James Robinson suffered last year but he’s on track to return early in the 2021 season.
Rookie Devin Lloyd and Darious Williams aren’t practicing with the team but they’re both wearing pads and doing individual work with their position coaches.
The Jaguars are still several weeks away from playing a game that counts in the standing, so it doesn’t make sense to rush any players back into the field. On the other hand, the coaching staff will have a better chance to assess players with pads on, as some might look great during the offseason but struggle once they have to wear football gear.
The Jaguars will face the Las Vegas Raiders in the Hall-of-Fame game on Thursday, and they want to be as ready and healthy as possible. Their first day of practice in training camp will set the tone for what’s next to come in the upcoming weeks.