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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars DE Ngakoue ends holdout without new deal

Florida Football Insiders

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Jaguar fans will be excited that their best pass rusher has reported to training camp on Sunday morning. However, for Yannick Ngakoue oh, he cannot be thrilled, as he’s showing up without a new long-term deal.

ESPN Insider Adam Schefter was the first to report that Ngakoue had decided to come in, in advance of the Tuesday deadline for him to report to camp or lose out on a year of service towards unrestricted free agency:

The team confirmed that Ngakoue had shown up later on Sunday morning, and head coach Doug Marrone met with the media saying he was hopeful to get him on the field, as soon as possible.

However, it was not known as to whether he would work out with them on Sunday.

Ngakoue has been away for more than 10 days of Jacksonville’s practices and has accrued more than $300,000 in fines, which is a good portion of his 2019 salary.

Ngakoue was a no show in June, while seeking a massive pay raise from small salary in the final year of his four-year rookie contract. He is slated to make $2 million this season. Or, roughly about an eighth of what the top 5 defensive ends in the NFL make on average ($15.5 million).

It’s unclear whether the Jaguars and specifically, VP of Football Tom Coughlin and GM Dave Caldwell, have made progress with Ngakoue’s representatives on a new deal. Obviously, the team “called his bluff,” as the player reported without that contract Sunday and won’t even miss a preseason game, as it stands.

He’s been Jacksonville’s best pass-rusher over his three-year career accumulating 29.5 sacks (9.5 in 2018) and 70 quarterback hits. This after being an unheralded 3rd round draft pick out of Maryland in 2016. So, you can understand his frustration and wanting a new deal.

The star defensive end had until Tuesday to report under CBA rules for rookie contracts or risk losing 2019 as a year of service. Then, Jacksonville could essentially pay him his same $2 million salary again next year, without Nkakoue having the leverage of an unrestricted free agent or being “franchise tagged.”

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags WR Marqise Lee returns to practice

Abbey Radeka

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

After losing veteran Alfred Blue in the first half of the 24–10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury, the Jaguars are looking for offensive depth. In some fortunate news, WR Marqise Lee is off of the PUP list and has begun practicing today, roughly one year after suffering from knee damage that sidelined him for the entire 2018 season.

Head coach Doug Marrone made the announcement before practice on Saturday.

First Coast news reporter Ben Murphy got a video of Lee at practice receiving a pass from QB Nick Foles.

Last year, Lee was injured in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Falcons. He was hit by reserve defensive back Damontae Kazee on this play after a reception.

Lee suffered a torn ACL and went on injured reserve missing the entire season.

Lee became more prominent in Jacksonville’s pass offense in 2017 with 56 catches for 702 yards and three TDs. The Jags are surely going to rely on him this season which could mean he’ll see the field a bit in their third preseason game to get him readjusted to competitive game play.

However, they might not want to risk another potential injury before the season begins. We could see it going either way. We do know that he’ll be a great weapon for Nick Foles to utilize this season.

The return of Lee is coming off the heels of some other good news for the Jags announced earlier this week. Starting left tackle Cam Robinson was also removed from the PUP list on Monday after suffering a torn ACL in Week 2 last season. He has since made enough progress participate in some individual drills and should be ready, along with Lee, for their season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

In other injury-related news, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Leonard Fournette, backed up by Thomas Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars searching for RB depth after second preseason game

Florida Football Insiders

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

With preseason game number two in the books, it’s apparent the Jaguars have real issues with running back depth due to injury. This after veteran Alfred Blue left the first half of the 24 – 10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury and did not return.

Blue carried the ball four times for just five yards has Jacksonville offense once again sputtered behind a makeshift offensive line. Coach Doug Marrone was so concerned about that line situation and their ability to protect/block that starting quarterback Nick Foles and running back Leonard Fournette never saw the field for a single play during Thursday night.

That means that veteran at Thomas Rawls (above Thursday) was called upon to carry the ball a little more, and he did so, seven times for 19 yards including a long run of 11 playing in the first half.

Rawls is a 5th year veteran who had some modest success with the Seahawks, including rushing for 830 yards his rookie year in 2015 with a 5.6 yard per carry average. His numbers tapered off in 2016 – 17 with ankle and foot injuries, as he only played in 21 games in those two years. Rawls was later released and picked up by the Bengals, but injured again last season, and never carried the ball in Cincinnati.

Obviously, the Jaguars are wanting to implement Fournette, as the primary ball carrier, but they will need someone else to spell him on a series or two. Also, Fournette has had durability questions, as he missed parts or all of eight games last year with a hamstring injury.

The Jags were also hoping to bring along Temple rookie running back Ryquell Armstead, but after he carried eight times for 22 yards last week, he suffered a concussion in the preseason opening loss to the Ravens. Armstead hasn’t practiced since, and is still being evaluated with no further update Thursday.

Speaking of updates, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Fournette, backed up by Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.

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