Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAGUARS NOTEBOOK; Mathis Expects to Play Sunday

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAGUARS NOTEBOOK; Mathis Expects to Play Sunday

Article excerpt

Byline: MICHAEL C. WRIGHT

Rashean Mathis has never missed a game in his four-year tenure with the Jaguars.

If Mathis has his way Sunday, he won't miss the game against the Buffalo Bills, either.

Listed as questionable on the Jaguars' injury report because of a strained groin, Mathis said his twice-daily treatments have paid dividends. He practiced Friday, saying the groin muscle "felt good," and he expects to be in the starting lineup against the Bills.

"It's a conference game, so it's big," Mathis said. "I haven't missed one yet, and I don't plan on missing one. It's looking good, a lot better."

A fifth-year veteran, Mathis strained his groin during the second half last Sunday in the Jaguars' win over the San Diego Chargers. He didn't practice Wednesday or Thursday, but he was out on the field for Friday's workout.

Mathis has started in 74 consecutive games. A Pro Bowl pick last year, Mathis has an interception and a fumble recovery this season.

SLOWING DOWN FOR GARRARD

Like most quarterbacks who all of a sudden begin to play at a high level, David Garrard says the game is finally slowing down for him.

"I feel like it is, definitely," Garrard said. "But I don't want to feel that way to a point of where I get too relaxed. Then, I would be taking things for granted. I still have to be sharp. I still have to be on top of my game. I think a little bit of that edge helps you to keep focus."

Garrard ranks third in the AFC and fourth in the NFL in passer rating (104.6), behind New England's Tom Brady, Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger and Dallas' Tony Romo.

Garrard is the only NFL quarterback who hasn't yet thrown an interception, and his 172 attempts without an interception are just three behind his previous team record set last season.

"It is nice to have the clarity at that position that we [now] have," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "David is our guy and David is playing at a high level. Having a quarterback playing at a high level certainly opens the door to other opportunities."

The high level at which Garrard has performed hasn't yet produced much recognition nationally. But if the Jaguars continue to win, Garrard should see his fair share of accolades. …

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