Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; CB Mathis Sees Playing Time Increase

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; CB Mathis Sees Playing Time Increase

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

For nine years, Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis knew if he was healthy, he would start. He was 125 for 125 until last November, when he sustained a season-ending knee injury.

Taking things cautiously to start the season, Mathis played against Minnesota and Houston in a reserve role. That could be changing.

A week after playing 19 of 59 snaps in exclusively sub-package situations, Mathis played around 40 snaps against Houston on Sunday, making his first appearance in the Jaguars' base defense.

"The knee has responded well to everything," Mathis said Monday at EverBank Field. "No setbacks, which is great. I played more plays than I did the previous game so it's a positive."

Mathis has three tackles and one pass breakup in two games. He said playing as a substitute was an adjustment.

"I think I prepared myself well mentally," he said. "I understand not trying to rush anything and rather be safe than sorry. I think we're going about it the right way."

INJURY REPORT

Including quarterback Blaine Gabbert (glute), Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey is optimistic that running back Rashad Jennings (knee), left guard Eben Britton (ankle) and cornerback Derek Cox (hamstring) could return Sunday at Indianapolis.

"[Britton] and [Jennings] have the best chance of playing," Mularkey said. "[Cox] should be working more extensively on Wednesday with the defense in a team role."

If Britton is unable to play, Herb Taylor would again start at left guard. Mularkey ruled out Britton returning to right tackle if he's healthy, but Cameron Bradfield (ankle) isn't ready.

Mularkey does not expect linebacker Daryl Smith (groin) to play.

Entering Week 2, the Jaguars had an NFL-high 10 players on injured reserve.

NO CHANGE

Mularkey said the Jaguars' team tackling against Houston "was about the same" as it was against Minnesota.

"I wouldn't say it got worse," he said. "I think we've got to do a better job. It's the open-field tackling that we really have struggled with. …

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