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First Off the Field: 8/12

Posted Aug 12, 2013

The latest headlines as the Jaguars conclude their first practice of Week 2 of the 2013 NFL preseason.

JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars got a little healthier on Monday.

They may have gotten quite a bit better, too, with wide receiver Justin Blackmon and safety Johnathan Cyprien practicing for the first time since the beginning of 2013 Training Camp.

Blackmon, a second-year veteran, had been on the Physically Unable to Perform list after offseason groin surgery.

“It’s a great feeling,” Blackmon said Monday after the Jaguars’ two-and-a-half-hour, full-padded practice in 90 degree temperatures at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields. “I’m just happy to be back out there with everybody practicing and feeling good about it.”

Cyprien, a rookie second-round draft selection, had been on the non-football injury list after sustaining a hamstring injury shortly before camp.

“It was a long time coming,” Cyprien said. “I was happy to be out there, and real excited. I felt pretty good for my first day coming back. There are some places I could definitely improve on.”

Each worked in full pads Monday morning, participating in 11-on-11 drills throughout practice.

“I felt great,” said Blackmon, who caught several passes from both Chad Henne and Blaine Gabbert in the practice, ending the session with a touchdown reception in the corner of the end zone. “Everybody’s done a great job trying to get me back out there. I’ve been in meetings. I’ve been studying. I’ve just been waiting to get out there.”

Cyprien also had an impact. Like Blackmon, he worked with the starters throughout much of practice, and had at least one pass defensed.

The return of Cyprien and Blackmon came as wide receiver Cecil Shorts III remained out of practice with a calf strain. Offensive tackle Luke Joeckel missed practice, but the injury is not thought to be serious.

The Jaguars are scheduled to hold a walkthrough at the Florida Blue practice fields Monday afternoon. They will practice again at 9:55 a.m. Tuesday.

 

INJURY WATCH

Running back Justin Forsett (sprained toe) returned to practice, as did cornerback Lionel Smith (quadriceps), defensive end Jeremy Mincey (concussion). Shorts III (calf strain), remained out, as did cornerback Jeremy Harris (back), defensive lineman Brandon Deaderick (groin). Isaiah Stanback (quadriceps) missed practice, as did linebacker Russell Allen (ankle).

 

PHOTO GALLERY OF DAY 1 OF WEEK 2 OF THE PRESEASON

PLAY OF THE DAY

The play of the day came from a player who has stood out regularly in training camp.

LaRoy Reynolds, a linebacker from Virginia, has stood out throughout the offseason and preseason thus far. On Monday, he got free on an outside pass rush and stripped Gabbert shortly before Gabbert passed.

The play was one of several forced fumbles by the defense on Monday, a day on which the defense seemed quick to the ball early, defensing several passes.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

1.The quarterbacks continued to rotate repetitions, with Gabbert and Henne each working with the first- and second-team offenses throughout practice.

2.Cornerback Dwayne Gratz had a near-interception on an early pass from Henne in team drills.

3.Blackmon had several sure-handed receptions in practice, including a sideline route late in practice in red-zone drills.

4.Tight end Marcedes Lewis caught a touchdown pass from Gabbert in red-zone drills on a high  lob pass in the middle of the end zone.

5.Defensive end Andre Branch pushed rookie Denard Robinson back into Gabbert in a red-zone passing drill, disrupting the play.

6.Gratz and Cyprien combined to break up a pass from Gabbert in red-zone drills, a play that drew cheers from the defense and coaching staff.

7.Cornerback Alan Ball continued an impressive training camp, batting away a pass from Gabbert to Lewis on the sideline in 11-on-11 drills.

 

QUOTABLE

1.Defensive coordinator Bob Babich on Cyprien: “Obviously, he was a little rusty. He hadn’t practiced all training camp, but it was great to get him out there. We really like Johnathan and the players really like him, so it was fun to get him out there.”

3.Offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch on Blackmon: “He really competed today. He came out there and he looked like he was ready to go and anxious to go. It was fun to watch him.”

 

LOOKING ON . . .

*The Jaguars’ defensive line had a strikingly strong effort in the preseason opener Friday, with defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks registering a sack and two pressure in the first half and Tyson Alualu also making several plays at or behind the line his first game at end. Branch played extensively throughout, and first-year veteran Ryan Davis also got time in the first half as the two compete for time at the backup Leo position.

*Nickel back Mike Harris continues to make a strong run for a front-line role, starting at that spot Friday ahead of veteran free agent Marcus Trufant.

*As expected, Allen Reisner continues to play with the front-line unit opposite Lewis at tight end, with Brett Brackett also in the game early on Friday.

*Among the players who were in for the Jaguars on early punt return unit were returner Ace Sanders, safety Chris Prosinski, Ball, cornerback Kevin Rutland, linebacker Julian Stanford, running back Jordan Todman, Reynolds, Stanback and safety Antwan Blake. Running back Jonathan Grimes also worked on early punt returns.

*Rookie Demetrius McCrary was among those on early punt returns, as were Blake, Allen, Reisner, Grimes and linebacker Geno Hayes.

*Among the players in with the second defensive unit Friday were defensive tackle D’Anthony Smith, Branch, safety Josh Evans, Prosinski, Gratz, Rutland, Stanford, Reynolds, defensive tackle Kyle Love, defensive end Pannell Egboh and linebacker Brandon Marshall. Defensive end Abry Jones also worked with the second-team unit late in the first half.

*Among the players in with the second offensive unit early in the second half were wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, wide receiver Toney Clemons, Ta’ofu’ou, Brackett, offensive tackle Austin Pasztor, offensive guard Drew Nowak, center Dan Gerberry, guard Jason Spitz, wide receiver Jordan Shipley and tight end Kyle Otten. Wide receiver Jeremy Ebert with the front-line offense throughout the first half.

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