Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Chris Clemons was among friends Monday, returning to the practice field with his teammates. He spent the first two weeks of camp on the team’s active non-football injury list, before being cleared to practice Monday.
Head Coach Gus Bradley told the media Monday that Clemons was in “very good” condition, but was unsure of his status for Saturday’s preseason game against the NY Giants. It is unclear, at least to those outside of the Jaguars’ brass, why Clemons was away from the team. Bradley would only say that it was for “personal reasons”, when he was pressed on the issue. “I mean I think there were some things going on that maybe were some distractions for him,” Bradley told the media, “But never about this team.”
He’s been a true, true vet,” said defensive line mate Jared Odrick of Clemons. “Some days a little bit more vinegary that others, but I’d expect that from 13 years in the league. He’s been great, he’s been very honest and truthful about everything.”
“I don’t worry about feeling out of football (shape),” said Clemons. “They’re working me back into it and that’s the plan we’ve been going with ever since day one. I’m 13 years in, the plan is to get back to playing football, that’s the plan we got and I’ll just do what the coaches ask me to do.”
With Clemons back in the fold, the Jaguars are gearing up for Saturday’s second preseason game, against the NY Giants. Bradley said the new offense is in that offensive coordinator Greg Olson wants, but “you might see a play here or there,” Bradley said.
The Jaguars could have a couple players back on the defensive line, on Saturday, including Odrick and tackles Sen’Derrick Marks and Roy Miller. If Clemons is thrown in there, the Jaguars would have four starters on their defensive line. Jaguars.com writer John Oehser, wrote about the specific work that each player did. Odrick (knee) worked close to full and Miller (knee) worked a little more limited, with Clemons working individual drills after spending the first two-and-a-half weeks of camp on the active non-football injury list.
Odrick stressed that while it is important with a new team and a new defense, you want to get your routine down, from having tickets for your family, to the quickest way to the stadium, “It’s all about routine,” he said.
Odrick and the rest of the Jaguars hope to make winning part of the routine. They accomplished that last Friday against Pittsburgh and hope to continue it Saturday, against the Giants.