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First Off the Field: QB Blake Bortles gets first-team repetitions

Posted Aug 18, 2014

Jaguars rookie QB Blake Bortles takes first repetitions with first team in Monday’s practice at Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields.


JACKSONVILLE – The reps were significant, even if they were a bit limited.

Blake Bortles, the Jaguars’ backup quarterback for now and the starter sometime in the future, took his first first-team practice repetitions on Monday. Because of Bortles’ future status, those reps were a big story.

There just weren’t a whole lot of them.

Bortles, the No. 3 overall selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, took three repetitions with the first team in 11-on-11 drills, then took four or five more in seven-on-seven passing drills. That information came from Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley because the repetitions came during portions of Monday’s practice on which the media may not report.

“He did good,” Bradley said Monday after a two-a-half hour practice in 91-degree temperatures at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields. “The speed of the game, it was good for him to see.”

Bradley noted that middle linebacker Paul Posluszny made a play on one of Bortles’ passes that illustrated the speed with which first-team players play.

“As I was sitting back there I thought it was really good for him to go against the ones like that to get a feel for the speed, to get a feel for the rush,” Bradley said. “Sitting back there and watching it, I just felt like that was good for him.”

Bradley said he imagines Bortles will get seven-to-eight reps again in Tuesday’s practice.

Bortles is expected to play about a quarter with the starters in Friday’s preseason game at Detroit, and Bradley said the tentative plan is to have Bortles enter the game sometime in the second quarter. That would be the approach because the Jaguars don’t want to replace starter Chad Henne with Bortles and then put Henne back in later.

“I don’t think we would bring Chad back in,” Bradley said. “We really haven’t discussed it, but I don’t foresee us having him go early and then bringing Chad back in.”

Bradley also said Henne looked good in practice Monday.

“Overall, it appeared to go pretty good for him,” Bradley said.

Wide receiver Cecil Shorts III and linebacker Dekoda Watson practiced for a second consecutive day after returning to practice Monday. Bradley said the team continues to hold Shorts back in practice, limiting him to two reps per period.

“We’ll gradually increase it to where he gets four and then take it from there,” Bradley said.

Wide receiver Allen Robinson (hamstring), wide receiver Tandon Doss (ankle), wide receiver Lamaar Thomas (concussion), offensive tackle Josh Wells (shoulder), offensive tackle Austin Pasztor (hand), offensive guard Luke Bowanko (ankle), safety Craig Loston (hamstring), safety Deion Belue (back) and tight end Clay Harbor (calf) remained out of practice.

Also, tight end Fendi Onobun sustained a torn quadriceps Sunday in practice. The injury will require surgery and he is out for the season.

Harbor, who is expected to be the Jaguars’ “move” tight end opposite Marcedes Lewis, is walking without a protective boot this week and Bradley said he has made good progress.

“Today when I talked to him, he felt like it’s coming along fast,” Bradley said. “How fast – we’ll talk with the trainers.”

Bradley also said Doss has made progress since having a boot removed and there’s a chance he could be ready for the regular-season opener. He could return punts in that game if healthy, Bradley said.

“We’ve seen enough of him and we know he’s done it before,” Bradley said. “I think he’s got a body of work that showed that he has done it as a punt returner in the league. And just the times that we’ve seen him, I think we have a lot of trust in him.”

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