NFL Wire News

Jaguars WR Sterling finally ready for action


The Sports Xchange

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — One of the Jacksonville Jaguars’ draft picks, seventh-round choice Neal Sterling, joins the active roster this week.

It was a long road to the active roster for the wide receiver, who was slowed by a hamstring injury in training camp and didn’t play until the final preseason game when it was too late to make the roster.

“It was real frustrating,” he said.

Sterling was cut and then signed to the practice squad, and he spent the last six weeks having what amounted to the training camp he missed.

“I’ve developed a whole lot through six weeks being healthy and getting in game shape,” he said.

Offensive coordinator Greg Olson said, “He’s shown flashes at times. He has shown at times he can be a playmaker and he can make plays and that the game is not too big for him when he goes up against our defense in practice situations. He’s done good things.”

Sterling’s hamstring was just one more example of how the Jaguars have had problems keeping this year’s draft class healthy since the top pick, defensive end Dante Fowler, went down on the first day of rookie minicamp with a torn ACL.

The second and fourth picks, running back T.J. Yeldon (groin) and safety James Sample (shoulder), didn’t practice Wednesday because of injuries, and the fifth-round pick, wide receiver Rashad Greene, is on short-term injured reserve.

Guard A.J. Cann, the team’s third-round pick, is the only member of the draft class who is currently healthy and starting.

One of the reasons Jacksonville is 1-5 is that it is not getting much production out of the draft class.

–The Jaguars-Bills game will start at 9:30 a.m. ET Sunday and will be shown on TV on CBS only in Jacksonville and Buffalo. Nationally, the game will be available live on Yahoo in the NFL’s first experience at online streaming. Meanwhile, fans in Syracuse and Rochester are complaining that the contest won’t be shown live there. It remains to be seen how big an audience it will attract on Yahoo early on a Sunday morning.

–Jaguars owner Shad Khan apparently hasn’t lost any confidence in coach Gys Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell despite the team’s 1-5 start.

“I’m very, very optimistic and believe in what they are doing,” he told in London. “It’s frustrating and maddening at times, but if you know football, regrettably, (being patient is) the right thing to do.”

When Khan’s comments were relayed to Bradley, he said, “I have always appreciated his support.”

“Shad has been outstanding as an owner and has a high standard and is attempting to get the organization elevated to the highest level,” Bradley said.

Khan also indicated the league will announce Thursday that he agreed to continue playing every year in London.

Midseason votes of confidence don’t often count for much. Khan gave one of Mike Mularkey in 2011 and fired him at the end of a 2-14 season.

If the Jaguars finish in the 3-13 or 4-12 range, it will be interesting to see how Khan reacts.

–Jaguars offensive line coach Doug Marrone will face Buffalo for the first time since he quit as the Bills’ head coach at the end of last year. Jacksonville quarterbacks coach Nathaniel Hackett was on Marrone’s staff.

When Bradley was asked if this game was special for Marrone, he said, “No, we haven’t heard too much. He’s pretty locked in (to the game). But it would be a good question for him.”

A team spokesman said Marrone would talk about the offensive line this week but would have no comments about Buffalo.

Bradley said Marrone has been a great addition to the staff and they had a really good conversation the other day. He said it was about how to stimulate the players yet stay within the same message and stay within their philosophy.

“How can you change it up some but remain solid on our principles?” Bradley said. “So, it was that type of conversation.”

–Defensive lineman Jared Odrick, who played in London when he was with the Dolphins, said Miami traveled on Wednesday and the players were told that the team that spent less time in London had a better record than the team that spent a week there.

That could be a good omen for the Jaguars, who won’t leave until Thursday night. The Bills left Sunday night. The Jaguars went Sunday night and Monday night the last two years, but they were outmatched by the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys, so it probably didn’t make a difference when they left.

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