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Jaguars didn’t have gameplan for TE Thomas’ debut

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The Sports Xchange

JACKSONVILLE — Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas said last week the he had not been cleared to play with the broken bone he suffered in his right hand in the first preseason game in August, but wound up playing Sunday in Tampa Bay.

In effect, the doctors let him clear himself Saturday.

“It’s a long process trying to get back out there,” he said.

Thomas said the doctors told him he could play, “if you’re willing to give it a go.”

“I tried it out in practice this week and felt comfortable with it and the doctors said, “If you’re OK with it, we’ll sign off on it,” he said.

“I wanted to go out there and get that first game in,” he said.

The problem was that the Jaguars didn’t plan on him playing and didn’t really have a plan for having him make an impact as he caught just two passes while playing a limited role.

“We really didn’t have a game plan on how we were going to use him,” coach Gus Bradley said. “It was a last-minute deal. We tried to get him out there and give him some reps. Hopefully, he’s healthy coming out of this and we’ll go from there.”

Still, Thomas was pleased with his debut.

“I’m happy with how today went,” he said. “There were no setbacks. That’s encouraging.”

“I’m more worried about being out there on the field (than having just two catches),” he said. “It takes a little while to adjust to a new offense. I’m adjusting and as a team we’re adjusting. I don’t know how many targets that translates to, especially when I was coming in and out.”

Of the Jaguars’ 38-31 loss to Tampa Bay, he said, “The result wasn’t what we wanted, but speaking individually, it was a big step to go from running around in practice to being back out there with the guys. I was excited to be back out there.”

He said of playing with pain, “It’s something I’ll deal with all season. My goal is to continue to progress health wise and be out there more.”

INJURY NOTES: WR Marqise Lee was inactive with a hamstring injury and has now missed the last 10 quarters. His condition will be updated later in the week. … RB T.J. Yeldon suffered a groin strain in the fourth quarter and his condition will be updated later in the week. … MLB Paul Posluszny sat out the game with a high ankle sprain suffered in Indianapolis and the run defense missed him as the Bucs rushed for 183 yards. His condition will be updated later in the week. … DT Sen’Derrick Marks was inactive and hasn’t played since suffering a torn ACL in the final game last season. He will increase his practice load this week but said he hasn’t been cleared to play … RB Denard Robinson was inactive for the third game in a row with a knee injury. He said he hope to practice Wednesday and possibly play Sunday. … RB Bernard Pierce complained of concussion-like symptoms after the game and was placed in the concussion program. He also has a hamstring injury. … S James Sample missed the Tampa game with a shoulder injury and his condition will be updated later in the week. … CB Davon House defended three passes while shadowing Mike Evans but suffered a hip contusion. He said he thinks he will play Sunday.


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