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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Strong ready for new start, but first he has to find his passport

Roy Cummings

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Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

The Jacksonville Jaguars leave for their annual trip to London on Thursday. Newcomer Jaelen Strong may not be with them when they leave.

The Jaguars claimed Strong off waivers from the Houston Texans on Tuesday, and it’s safe to say he wasn’t completely ready for all that entailed.

While Strong was ready and willing to move on to another team he wasn’t quite ready just yet to move on to a team headed overseas.

 “I wasn’t expecting to have to leave the country,’’ said Strong, who came to realize on Wednesday that he has misplaced his passport.

 “It’s somewhere in my house,” Strong told reporters. My family is there now tearing my house apart looking for it.’’ 

If they find it the Jaguars will add to their lineup on Sunday a wideout who can stretch the field for them.

That became a need when top wideout Allen Robinson went down with a torn ACL just a few plays into the Jaguars season opener.

That the Jaguars have turned to Strong makes sense. A 2015 third-round pick out of Arizona State, he’s only 23 and immensely skilled.

At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, he has elite NFL size and he ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Just walking walk through the door, Strong’s presence has already left an impression on his new quarterback, Blake Bortles.

 “I didn’t know he was as tall as he is,’’ Bortles said. “That’s obviously a good thing (after) you lose a guy like A-Rob.’’

As impressive as he looks, though, Strong has struggled to make a good impression on the field. He did in Houston anyway.

In 19 games with the Texans, the only team he’s played for in the NFL prior to joining the Jaguars, he’s had just 28 catches.

UPDATE:  The Jaguars finished practice early to depart for London tonight. Strong did not participate due a hamstring injury. And even though his family found his passport, he will not travel with the team for Sunday’s game overseas, but stay behind to rest/rehab.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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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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