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Inside the Jaguars: Getting healthy

Posted Oct 25, 2013

Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon doesn’t practice Friday but is expected to play Sunday.

BAGSHOT, England – Gus Bradley got good news on the team’s final day at Pennyhill Park Hotel:

His team could be as healthy Sunday as it has been in a while.

With wide receiver Justin Blackmon missing practice Friday but expected to play, Bradley -- the Jaguars’ head coach – said the team will enter its game at Wembley Stadium Sunday with just one player listed as questionable.

That player is wide receiver Stephen Williams, who has an Achilles injury.

“Everybody else (on the injury report) is probable,” Bradley said Friday following the team’s final practice at Pennyhill Park as the team prepared for its game against the San Francisco 49ers at Wembley Stadium in London Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.

Blackmon, who has 25 receptions for 394 yards receiving with a touchdown in three games this season, missed practiced with a groin/hamstring injury Friday. He also missed Wednesday and is listed as probable.

Blackmon, who played through the injury last week to catch six passes for 58 yards against San Diego, is expected to play Sunday, and the rest of the Jaguars’ injured players other than Williams also are listed as probable.

That list includes defensive tackle Roy Miller (shoulder), linebacker Russell Allen (ribs), Blackmon, cornerback Dwayne Gratz (ankle), defensive tackle Sen'Derrick Marks (knee/ankle), wide receiver Cecil Shorts III (shoulder), defensive end Andre Branch (knee), wide receiver Stephen Burton (concussion), safety Johnathan Cyprien (calf), quarterback Blaine Gabbert (hamstring), defensive tackle Jeremy Mincey (concussion) and wide receiver Ace Sanders (concussion).

The Jaguars left Pennyhill Park around 3:30 p.m. London time Friday and will stay in downtown London through Sunday night. Players will be off Friday afternoon and evening, with a walkthrough and meetings scheduled Saturday.

“The challenge for us is to enjoy this time,” Bradley said. “As we travel into London, they’ll have some free time. We’ll have to quickly get back and focus (Saturday) on the reason for this whole trip….

“It is new for us and we want to make sure it’s a tremendous experience and our players really love this opportunity. I think the challenge for us will be can we switch focus and can we get back to the reason that we came over here? That’s the challenge in front of them and they can control that.”

Allen said while he and many players spent time in London Tuesday – the players’ normal day off – most didn’t leave Pennyhill Park again until Friday afternoon.

“I think I can speak for most guys when I say since Wednesday, I’ve been here working,” Allen said. “It’s been a fairly normal week. From the time we got here, it’s been business as usual. It also has been fun, which is what you want it to be.

“This is a unique experience and a unique opportunity. You want to be able to enjoy that while still getting the work done. We’ve been doing that really well.”

Also around the Jaguars Friday:

*Bradley said while rain is possible for Sunday, “We don’t think about that. Those things we can’t control so our focus is entirely on things that we have to do. You can get lost if you do that. You talk about hopefully it rains and then it doesn’t. Now what? We just train our guys not to go there.”

*Bradley said while the Jaguars managed just two field goals against San Diego last week, overall in recent weeks he likes what he has seen the last three games offensively. The Jaguars had 363 yards offensive against the Rams on October 6, 362 the following week against Denver and 353 yards against San Diego. “If you look at the last couple of games as far as total offense, the last three, it’s more in our liking where you’re seeing the passing game and the running game pick up,” Bradley said. “We’re building off those things. … More of the focus is on owning the red zone and when we get those opportunities we need to take advantage of those opportunities. Hopefully with that the points will come.”

*The league is having several fan-oriented events Friday and Saturday. There is the NFL on Location, a party on a boat on the River Thames for fans travelling from Jacksonville. The party starts at the London Eye followed by a river cruise. On Saturday, there will be a Commissioner Fan Forum at the Landmark Hotel at 11 a.m., with 100 fans having the opportunity to have a question-answer session with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. A main event on Saturday is a Fan Rally at Trafalgar Square from noon to 4 p.m., an event attended by nearly 50,000 people last year.


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