Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Taylor Expected to Play Thursday

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Taylor Expected to Play Thursday

Article excerpt


After being noncommittal on the subject all week, Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio left no doubt Friday that he expects running back Fred Taylor to make his preseason debut next week.

Taylor has been limited throughout training camp because of knee surgery last January and won't play in the Jaguars' second preseason game tonight at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

The Jaguars look for Taylor to have his first carries of the preseason next Thursday in a nationally televised home game against the Atlanta Falcons that is likely to be blacked out locally.

"If we don't have any setbacks, we expect him to go next week," Del Rio said Friday when asked about Taylor's timetable.

Taylor, the Jaguars' all-time leading rusher, has been sidelined since tearing ligaments in his left knee last Dec. 19 at Green Bay. He was limited to one practice during two-a-days and hasn't participated in a contact workout, but he is showing steady progress with his rehabilitation work.

The Jaguars are so encouraged by Taylor's recovery that he traveled with the team to Tampa on Friday, will suit up for tonight's game and will go through warmups as if he were going to play.

"He's going to go through the mental work of preparing for a game," Del Rio said.


The Jaguars will continue their auditions tonight at right cornerback with top contender David Richardson still sidelined by a sprained ankle.

Rookie Scott Starks started last week's game against the Miami Dolphins but will be play third (nickel) cornerback with the first team tonight. Second-year pro Chris Thompson will start instead, although veteran free agent Kenny Wright will split time with the starters, Del Rio said.

"We're going to continue to shuffle those guys through and make it competitive," Del Rio said. "We just want to get a good, thorough evaluation before we make any decisions."


Wide receiver Jimmy Smith's availability tonight could be a game-time decision after he was held out of Friday's walk-through because of a stomach ailment going around the locker room in training camp.

Del Rio didn't say who would start in Smith's place if the Jaguars' all-time leading receiver were unable to play. …

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