Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Taylor's Uncertain for Ravens; Nagging Ankle Injury Slows Veteran RB; Jones, Pearman to Pick Up the Slack

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Taylor's Uncertain for Ravens; Nagging Ankle Injury Slows Veteran RB; Jones, Pearman to Pick Up the Slack

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO

For the second time in three games, the Jaguars showed they could win without running back Fred Taylor.

Now the question is whether they can make a playoff run if Taylor can't play full time because of an ankle injury.

Taylor's status was up in the air Monday, one day after he aggravated his injured ankle against Houston. The injury caused him to miss the Pittsburgh game, but he came back after the bye to run for 165 yards in St. Louis.

Coach Jack Del Rio said that Taylor was scheduled for an MRI exam on Monday, and his condition would be updated Wednesday.

"I just don't know how he's going to respond," Del Rio said. "I'll have a better feel Wednesday when I see him [and the team starts practice for the Baltimore game].

"He'll get treatment between now and then. There wasn't a lot of swelling, but we're going to go ahead and do all the tests. He's had an MRI just to make sure there's nothing there. We'll get him back to full speed as soon as we can, and hopefully that's this week."

Taylor left the game less than two minutes into the third quarter after a 5-yard run. He finished with 12 carries for 48 yards.

Del Rio said the Jaguars would prefer not to find out if they can keep winning without Taylor.

Without Taylor, they defeated the Steelers and scored 21 points in the second half against the Texans. The Jaguars lost to St. Louis with Taylor gaining 165 yards.

"Fred is our blue-chip guy," Del Rio said. "He's our stud running back and we like to have him out there any chance we get."

If Taylor is sidelined, the Jaguars will turn to two young running backs, Greg Jones and Alvin Pearman. LaBrandon Toefield entered the preseason as Taylor's primary backup, but he has faded out of the picture and was inactive against the Texans. He has just four carries this season.

"I think we've seen Greg can carry the load," Del Rio said. "Alvin's an effective change of pace guy, a guy who's been effective coming out of the backfield, catching balls and picking up blitzes and doing things. It's not like the backfield is void of talent without Fred."

Derrick Wimbush plays fullback when Jones is at running back and receives an occasional carry. …

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