After Head Coach Gus Bradley said earlier in the week that the Jaguars would treat Friday’s preseason game much like a regular season game, the decision was made Wednesday, to keep many players on the sidelines this weekend against the Detroit Lions.
Running back Toby Gerhart was one of 12 players who will be on the bench when the game kicks off. He is dealing with an abdominal strain in Saturday’s game against the Giants and Bradley decided to play it safe. “He needs time this week, said Bradley. “Next week, we’ll see how it goes, but he should be ready week one.” Bradley went on to say that he was relieved that it wasn’t a sports hernia or something like that, which would have kept him out for quite a while.
Bradley did not detail how the time would be split between the other running backs’ in Gerhart’s absence, but the fact that rookie T.J. Yeldon is scheduled to see his first game action, means that he will likely be involved in more plays than he may have originally been slated for. Jaguars.com supplied the full list of Jaguars that will be joining Gerhart on the sidelines.
Wide receiver Marqise Lee (hamstring), wide receiver Greg Jenkins (high-ankle sprain), cornerback Peyton Thompson (hamstring), cornerback Demetrius McCray (knee), safety Johnathan Cyprien (finger), linebacker LaRoy Reynolds (knee), defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. (knee), offensive tackle Josh Wells (hand), tight end Julius Thomas (hand), wide receiver Neal Sterling (hamstring) and defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks (knee).
With all these players sitting the third game out, Bradley also weighed in on the length of the preseason. This is a hot button topic every year, as teams ready for the regular season. “I think your gonna find it hard for any coach or GM to say that they don’t appreciate the four games,” he said. “You get a chance to evaluate. If there was two games you might not get a chance to look at guys.”
Wednesday was the workout day for the Jaguars, ahead of Friday’s game. Bradley is hopeful that the starters will play well into the second half, as he wants the guys to get acclimated to going in for the halftime break and coming back into the game. Friday’s game kicks off at 8:00 p.m. inside EverBank Field. It will likely be the final time to see many of the Jaguars starters, before the regular season kicks off. The final game of the preseason will take place September 3 at Washington, but that game is usually reserved for Bradley and the coaches to evaluate those guys who are fighting for a final spot on the 53-man roster.