At the Jaguars get set to wrap up the preseason Thursday night in Tampa against the Buccaneers, one guy to keep an eye on is defensive end Dante Fowler.
Fowler has rejoined the team off of a one-week suspension earlier in the preseason and did play for the first time in a game this August against Atlanta last week.
And, Coach Doug Marrone made it clear Tuesday that unlike most of the starters on most of the teams in the final preseason game, Fowler will be seeing the field at least some Thursday night.
Marrone said DE Dante Fowler, backup quarterback Cody Kessler will play on Thursday night vs. Bucs. DE Dawaune Smoot and DT Eli Ankou will play if they can. #Jaguars
— John Reid (@JohnReid64) August 28, 2018
While we don’t know for sure, there is obviously dual motive here. One, Fowler needs the work coming off of missing time in the offseason due to a shoulder injury and being on the PUP list. However, more importantly, the Jaguars could be showcasing him for a possible trade.
Maybe that trade is coming in the short-term or maybe it is for later in the year? It’s important to also remember that Fowler has been suspended by the NFL for the first game with the Giants. And, that carries with him, even if he’s dealt.
Earlier in the offseason Jets beat writer Rich Cimini suggested that Fowler might be a target of New York and that QB Teddy Bridgewater would be a compliment to come the other way to the Jaguars.
And as we wrote about earlier this month, the Jets apparently inquired again about Fowler’s availability. So clearly, there is interest in the “Big Apple.”
Back to Fowler, as Jacksonville.com writer Phillip Heilman wrote about yesterday, he’s saying the right things for now even with all the personal and professional turmoil:
“I just want people to know that I’m known as a complete player on the field and I’m a professional,” Fowler said. “I’m a guy that cleaned up his act and left that past in the past. I’m ready to move on from that.”
Fowler continued, “I’m in a great place. Physically, I feel really good. My knee is really good. I feel faster than I’ve ever been, more explosive, jump higher than I’ve ever been. This should be a year that I put it all together. That’s how I feel.”
It remains to be seen how much Fowler will play Thursday night, and if he can make any plays the catch the attention of the Jaguars or any other team
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