Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

On Return to Club, Ace Gets a Big Hand; WR Sanders Returns to Team after Leave, Wants to Play Thursday

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

On Return to Club, Ace Gets a Big Hand; WR Sanders Returns to Team after Leave, Wants to Play Thursday

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

Jaguars receiver Ace Sanders didn't take any contact in Sunday's practice.

Returning from a 33-day leave for personal reasons, Sanders worked out on the side during the session with injured players.

However, he did receive plenty of contact when he arrived at EverBank Field. His coaches and teammates were thrilled to have the second-year receiver back in the facility and showed it, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley in particular.

"He just ran up to me and hugged me like I was his son," Sanders said. "It always feels good to know people love you."

Sanders faces a four-game suspension to start the season for violating the league's substance-abuse policy. The Jaguars allowed Sanders to take time away from training camp to get counseling.

Receiver Cecil Shorts said he snuck behind Sanders and tackled him the first time he saw him.

"I was happy to see him," Shorts said. "It was a long 30 days without him. He really stepped up as a man and said, 'I need some help.' He took care of what he needed to and it's a great feeling to have him back in the locker room."

Sanders admitted his conditioning needs work, but was upbeat to be back around his teammates. He caught 51 passes for 484 yards and one touchdown last season as a fourth-round pick.

"It felt great - nothing but support from my teammates and everybody was happy to see me," Sanders said. "I just felt back at home. I have a lot of work to do to get back [in shape], but I feel pretty good for the most part. I have to get used to the weather."

Sanders said his time away was beneficial. He also said he worked out three to four days a week, but did not catch passes.

"Without a doubt, I feel much better," Sanders said. "I got a lot of stuff worked out that I needed to get worked out and I'm moving [forward] from this point. …

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