Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; Opportunity Knocks for Jags' Pair

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; Opportunity Knocks for Jags' Pair

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

Two Jaguars figure to see their roles increase starting Sunday against Miami because of defensive end Andre Branch's groin injury that will sideline him six weeks: Chris Smith and Ryan Davis.

Smith was promoted from the practice squad Monday and coach Gus Bradley said he has a "good chance" to be active.

Davis has played 20 percent of the defensive snaps (104 of 509) this year, including a season-high 23 against Cleveland.

In third down pass-rushing situations, Davis has generally lined up at defensive tackle to give the Jaguars a more athletic presence inside.

In Week 1, he beat Philadelphia left guard Evan Mathis in 2.37 seconds and in Week 2, he was positioned at tackle and ran an outside stunt to beat Washington right tackle Tyler Polumbus in 2.97 seconds.

Davis is preparing to play both spots.

"The coaches try to find the right combination of players to rush on third down so inside or outside, it doesn't matter to me," he said. "Obviously, we're going to miss Andre but I'm going to make sure I continue to play at a high level and there isn't a drop-off."

BALL HOPES TO RETURN

Cornerback Alan Ball was back with the team Thursday after traveling to San Francisco for a second opinion on the biceps injury he sustained against Cleveland.

Ball said he's "pretty doubtful" to play against Miami (he has sat out two days of practice), but expects to play again this year.

"My thoughts are that it isn't season-ending," he said. "But it's definitely an injury that has some concern to it."

Ball wasn't injured on a specific play - he played all 74 snaps.

"Throughout the game, it was wear, wear, wear and after the game, I knew what was going on," he said.

Branch, meanwhile, is already off crutches.

"It rough," he said. "My mom reminded that since I started playing any sport at 6 years old, I had never been helped off the field. That goes to show you it was serious. …

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