NFL Wire News

Marks on a mission to play


The Sports Xchange

JACKSONVILLE – Jacksonville Jaguars’ defensive tackle Sen’Derrick Marks’ mission at practice Wednesday was to convince the coaches he’s ready to play Sunday against Houston for the first time since tearing his ACL in the final game against the Texans last December.

Marks said he couldn’t convince the coaches to let him go last week.

“They didn’t think I was ready to stick it into the ground,” he said.

But he seemed closer to accomplishing his goal Wednesday.

“Yes, there is a chance he could play Sunday,” head coach Gus Bradley said. “I just thought I saw him strain more and I think I see him fighting through that block a little bit and gain confidence in it, so I think it was a big step for him.”

“I’m more excited about this week,” Marks said. “I’m ready to go. I want to make sure I leave them with no doubt.”

He said the fact they are playing against the Texans is no factor in his bid to play.

“I haven’t thought about who we’re playing,” he said.

But he did add, “It’d be real good to come back and kick their butts.”

Marks said he thinks his leadership qualities will have a bigger impact than his play on the field.

“I don’t think that my play will make a big impact,” he said. “But I can say and do certain things to make sure everybody is doing what they’re supposed to do.”

–Running back Denard Robinson, who missed the last three games with a knee injury, also practiced in full. Bradley lumped Robinson with quarterback Blake Bortles and Marks and said all three “performed pretty well.”

He added that Robinson had a “good day.”

“I’m excited about it,” Robinson said of returning to work. “I’m going to be able to do everything I would usually do.”

The Jaguars could use Robinson because they’re currently thin at running back. Bernard Pierce is in the concussion program and rookie T.J. Yeldon is sidelined with a groin injury so Toby Gerhart worked with the first team.

“We don’t know with T.J.,” Bradley said. “T.J. was out there for walk-through, but he didn’t go through any practice. The first guy that went out there was Toby. We’ll see. We didn’t know with D-Rob and we didn’t know with some of these guys.”

To give them enough running backs to practice, they signed third-year running back Joe Banyard to the practice squad and released safety Craig Loston.

Banyard was originally signed by the Jaguars as an undrafted rookie in 2012, but was released. He then spent time with New Orleans and Minnesota before the Vikings released him on Aug. 30.

–Although middle linebacker Paul Posluszny didn’t practice Wednesday because of his ankle sprain, he said, “I’m feeling better and better. I feel like I should definitely be able to play Sunday.”

Posluszny then conceded he also said that last week and couldn’t play, but added, “The chances are getting better and better.”

Posluszny said it’s too simplistic to think that the Bucs ran for 183 yards last Sunday because he didn’t play.

“When you talk about our defense, it’s a team effort,” he said. “It’s 11 guys operating at a high level doing our jobs, doing things properly. We didn’t play as well as we wanted to. We didn’t tackle well at times. The good thing is that’s something we can easily address and fix in practice.”

–Rookie right guard A.J. Cann and right tackle Jermey Parnell, who didn’t practice because of a knee injury, may have the task of blocking J.J. Watt, who’s been playing more on their side this year rather than moving around the way he has done in the past.

With Parnell out, Sam Young filled in for him until he went out with an illness and then Luke Bowanko, limited with a stinger, went in. Bradley said they expect Parnell back for the game.

Watt had no solo tackles for only the second time in his career and no sacks last Thursday night against Indianapolis and Colts tight end Dwayne Allen referred to him by his name of “Justin James” and said the Colts neutralized him with the help of coaching and a short week.

“I don’t really pay too much attention to what other people say about my game,” Watt said in a conference call. “I never have. I just go out there, play my game and worry about myself.”

And head coach Bill O’Brien said, “I’m not sure what film anyone’s watching, but J.J. Watt has been very disruptive this year.”

Bradley said, “I think people are saying he’s not having much of an impact. Well, every time you watch teams (play him), they’re paying particular attention to him and watching what he can do. He’s a great player.”

“It’s going to be great competition,” Cann said. “Watching film, he’s very good with his hands and very good at eluding the pass blocker. I look forward to trying to get my hands on him early and seeing what I can do with him.”

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