Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ready for Work - 1 Missing; as Jaguars Open Training Camp, Pass-Rusher Clemons a No-Show

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Ready for Work - 1 Missing; as Jaguars Open Training Camp, Pass-Rusher Clemons a No-Show

Article excerpt

Byline: Ryan O'Halloran

When defensive end Chris Clemons failed to show up for every Jaguars organized team activity session last month, coach Gus Bradley wasn't amused but quickly pointed out how the workouts were voluntary and he was confident Clemons would arrive in acceptable physical condition.

But when Clemons was the only one of 90 players who didn't report to EverBank Field Thursday morning for the start of training camp, Bradley's tone was far different.

Clemons told the Jaguars he wasn't ready to report because of what Bradley called a "clearly personal; all personal," issue. But if his absence stretches into the weekend, the Jaguars won't be happy and could start fining Clemons.

"This one is a little concerning," Bradley said. "Hopefully we come up with a decision to speed things up a little bit quicker. I don't see this as a situation that [will be] extended."

Bradley hopes for "concrete" information about Clemons on Friday.

Bradley is concerned because the Jaguars are already short on pass rushers after first-round draft pick Dante Fowler sustained a season-ending knee injury on May 8. If Clemons isn't around for Friday's opening practice, it leaves Andre Branch and Chris Smith as the only true Leos (weak-side pass rushers).

And Bradley doesn't want this situation to drag on because it would be hard for him to justify letting Clemons do his own thing while the rest of the roster - chiefly the defensive line - are putting in long mornings on the practice field and long afternoons in the meeting and weight rooms.

"We all want him here," linebacker Paul Posluszny said. "Obviously he's a huge part of our defense and he really makes things go on the line. Whatever we need to do to get him here, we'll try."

Bradley, who has kept in contact with Clemons this week, said the defensive end's absence isn't connected to a legal matter or because of any kind of dispute with the Jaguars.

His salary cap number this year is $5 million, tied for ninth-highest on the team.

"You have more freedom when it's OTAs and not mandatory," Bradley said.

"But now that it's training camp ... we're sensitive to it, but we also need some urgency. …

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