Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Taylor May Be Held Out

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Taylor May Be Held Out

Article excerpt

Byline: VITO STELLINO

The Jaguars might rest running back Fred Taylor during Sunday's game in Arizona so he can be in top condition for their stretch run, coach Jack Del Rio said Thursday.

Del Rio added Taylor to the injury report as probable Thursday, even though the coach said the running back, who has nursed a bad ankle, isn't injured and will continue practicing this week.

Del Rio said the problem is that Taylor's conditioning and timing are off because he hasn't practiced much during the last month and has had only 18 carries the last three weeks.

"The story isn't that he's injured, and he isn't being demoted," Del Rio said. He needs to be 100 percent to help the team down the stretch. He needs to get his timing down. It'll be a coaching decision."

Del Rio knows Taylor is willing and eager to play hurt, so the coach discussed the situation with Taylor on Thursday.

"We talked, and we both agreed that trying to evaluate him Sunday when he's going to be gunned up and wants to go isn't the best time [to make a decision]," Del Rio said. "He really needs the conditioning and the timing, the work he hasn't been able to get because he's been going through the healing process.

"It's not his ability to handle the pain. It's the desire to get him closer to 100 percent and having that burst and breakaway ability.

"I appreciate his toughness and the desire he shows in wanting to help the team. He's willing to go out and play through things, but the smart thing to do for him and for us is to focus on him being the explosive, breakaway threat he is. It takes a little time."

Last Sunday in Tennessee, the Jaguars made a game-time decision to let Taylor play, and he lost 8 yards in six carries. He came out after suffering a thigh bruise while trying to tackle the Titans' Antwan Odom, who returned a fumble for a touchdown.

Del Rio said there wasn't much running room in Tennessee and that "the experience wasn't really fair" to Taylor.

Taylor missed the Jaguars' Oct. 16 game in Pittsburgh because of the ankle injury, but he returned the following week in St. Louis to rush for 165 yards on 22 carries. …

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