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Monday, 3 November 2014

Jaguars vs. Bengals: Sunday Game Day Notes

The Jacksonville Jaguars know they will have a full complement of offensive linemen when they ply at Cincinnati on Sunday,

The team announced that left tackle Luke Joeckel has been cleared to play after suffering a concussion last Sunday versus Miami.

According to, the situation on the offensive line is improved, so now the team can focus on changes being made on the defensive side of the ball, most notably at linebacker.

Joeckel, the Jaguars’ starting left tackle in the first eight games of the season, was listed as probable on the team’s injury report Friday, with all indications he will start when the Jaguars visit the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday.

“I’d be shocked if we didn’t (have Joeckel Sunday),” Head Coach Gus Bradley said as the Jaguars (1-7) prepared to play the Bengals (4-2-1).

Joeckel, the No. 2 overall selection in the 2013 NFL Draft, left a loss to Miami last Sunday with a concussion, and after missing practice Wednesday returned on a limited basis Thursday. He worked full in practice Friday.

“I missed out on Wednesday’s practice, but I’ve done the walkthroughs and all that stuff,” Joeckel said. “I feel good to go. I’ve watched plenty of film, so I’m ready to go.”

The team got some other good news when defensive back Dwayne Gratz was listed as probable for Sunday. His play has been limited throughout the week as elbow and groin issues continue to plague him.

Jeremiah George, signed off the New York Jets’ practice squad September 23, is expected to have an expanded role and could start at middle linebacker. If that happens, J.T. Thomas – who started at middle linebacker last week with starter Paul Posluszny (torn pectoral) having gone on injured reserve – would return to the Otto linebacker spot. Thomas started at Otto Weeks 3-7.

Dekoda Watson, who started at the Otto in Week 8, is questionable with a hamstring injury, with Bradley saying the decision to give George an expanded role was more about George earning an opportunity than anything else.

“He’s caught our attention,” Bradley said. “His speed, his instincts all caught our eye. We were waiting for him to see how well he could pick up the defense. He showed really well last week, then had another good week on top of it. He’s caught our eye.”

Bradley added that Thomas has proven he can play well at the Otto.

In other Jaguars news…

  • Cornerback Will Blackmon (finger) and defensive end Andre Branch (groin) missed practice and will be out Sunday. Blackmon is out an extended period and Branch is expected to miss about five more weeks. Neither is expected to make the trip to Cincinnati or to London the week afterward.
  • Safety Sherrod Martin is expected to play the nickel Sunday with Blackmon having played there the first eight weeks of the season. It will be Martin’s first extensive playing time since sustaining anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament injuries in December 2012 while playing with Carolina. Martin, a second-round selection in the 2009 NFL Draft from Troy, started for Carolina in 2010 and 2011. He has played five snaps this season. “When you get your opportunity, you have to step in and capitalize on it,” Martin said. “You just have to put your best foot forward.”


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