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Inside the Jaguars: Jones-Drew questionable

Posted Sep 20, 2013

Jacksonville Jaguars RB Maurice Jones-Drew, cornerback Alan Ball and guard Uche Nwaneri listed as questionable entering Sunday’s game at Seattle.

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Maurice Jones-Drew now appears a bit more likely.

Even so, the Jaguars’ three-time Pro Bowl running back’s status remained uncertain Friday as the team wrapped up its final full practice of the week at San Jose State University.

Jones-Drew, the NFL’s leading rusher in 2011, missed practice Wednesday and Thursday with a strained tendon in his ankle, and Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said Thursday Jones-Drew probably wouldn’t play Sunday in Seattle unless fully healthy.

Bradley said Jones-Drew worked on a limited basis Friday, and will be listed as questionable.

“He really wants to play on Sunday, so we’ll be smart with him,” Bradley said as the Jaguars (0-2) prepared to play the Seattle Seahawks (2-0) at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash., Sunday at 4:25 p.m.

“I think what we do like is the progress he’s made from the last two days to today. We figure another day, and then Sunday we will work him out and see how it goes.”

Jones-Drew, who cut on Friday for the first time this week, said his ankle remains sore.

“It’s nothing you can’t play through,” Jones-Drew said. “Coach wants me to be as close to 100 percent as possible. We’ll see how things go.”

Jones-Drew sustained the injury against the Raiders on a play late in the first half when safety Charles Woodson tackled him high, causing his body and the ankle to twist.

“It was a pretty rough hit,” Jones-Drew said. “My foot got stuck, but we got treatment three or four times a day. Today, it was OK, so we’ll see how it goes and how it responds.”

Jones-Drew said he didn’t expect limited repetitions if he plays.

“If I play, I’m playing,” Jones-Drew said.

Jones-Drew officially was listed as practicing limited Friday with a status for Sunday of questionable, with tight end Marcedes Lewis and quarterback Blaine Gabbert being ruled out.

Chad Henne, as expected, will start in place of Gabbert. Henne started last week in place of Gabbert, who is out since sustaining a laceration on his throwing hand late in the regular-season opener.

Lewis has yet to play during the regular-season after aggravating a preseason calf injury shortly before the regular-season opener.

“It’s much better than it has been,” Bradley said. “He still felt it a little bit. To have him come back after what happened last time, we decided we’re just going to hold him out.”

There also was an update regarding cornerback Alan Ball.

Ball, who played despite groin soreness last week in Oakland, missed practice this week, but he is listed as questionable and Bradley said he likely will be a game-day decision Sunday.

“It might be a situation where we test it right before the game,” Bradley said, saying that of any position on the Jaguars’ defense, cornerback may be the easiest to play without an extensive week of practice.

If Ball can’t play, rookie Demetrius McCray could start opposite veteran Will Blackmon, who is starting while rookie Dwayne Gratz is out at least through next week with a high-ankle sprain.

Guard Uche Nwaneri (knee) did not practice Friday and also was listed as limited.

Overall, Bradley said he was pleased with the preparation for Sunday’s game, which took place in San Jose because the Jaguars played the Raiders Sunday and will play in Seattle Sunday. Rather than fly across the country two additional times, coaches and front-office personnel opted to keep the players in the Silicon Valley for preparations.

“I know our coaches have said this Wednesday’s practice was the best we’ve had,” Bradley said. “Everybody was on board and on the task at hand.”

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