Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; Clemons, Lee Likely to Sit out Preseason Opener

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; Clemons, Lee Likely to Sit out Preseason Opener

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

The Jaguars host the Pittsburgh Steelers in their preseason opener next Friday.

Coach Gus Bradley doesn't expect defensive end Chris Clemons to be ready. The 12-year veteran has missed the first six practices of training camp and remains on the active/non-football injury list for undisclosed personal reasons.

"I would doubt he would play in the opener," Bradley said. "I wouldn't count on that."

That likely means Clemons isn't all that close to a return to the field. Clemons also missed most of the offseason program.

Bradley maintained his upbeat approach to the puzzling situation following Thursday's practice.

"Clemons is doing good," Bradley said. "Each day I think he's making very good progress. I can't say when it's going to be. I think we will wait to hear from [strength and conditioning coordinator Tom Myslinski] and [head athletic trainer Scott Trulock] and see how he's doing, but he's making really good progress."

The 33-year-old Clemons is in his second year with the Jaguars. He recorded 36 tackles with eight sacks and three forced fumbles last season. Clemons has 66 career sacks.

With rookie defensive end Dante Fowler out for the season, Clemons' absence has put a strain on the Leo position. Andre Branch, Ryan Davis and Chris Smith are getting extensive reps in practice.

LEE 'WEEK TO WEEK'

Bradley said receiver Marqise Lee is "week to week" after injuring his hamstring in Wednesday's practice. Bradley said he doubts Lee will play against the Steelers.

Tight end Julius Thomas landed awkwardly in practice, but Bradley believed he would be fine.

"He should be all right," Bradley said. "I think he's just a little tight in his lower back, but he's OK."

Cornerback Dwayne Gratz expects to be back on the field soon. The third-year veteran has missed the last few days with a calf injury.

"I'll be back in a couple days," Gratz said. "I have a lot of inflammation built up in my calf, but besides that everything is good."

Running back Storm Johnson made his training camp debut after recovering from an illness. Johnson says he feels comfortable in first-year offensive coordinator Greg Olson's system through his work in the offseason program and in meetings.

"The offense isn't new to me," Johnson said. "I've been here all the time. I've been studying. I'm pretty good with the offense. I just need reps and getting used to running again. ... I still feel like I have a chance to make a big impact."

ODRICK IMPRESSED WITH LINDER

Defensive end Jared Odrick quickly named right guard Brandon Linder when asked which offensive lineman has stood out to him in camp. Odrick missed Thursday's practice with a knee injury, but said he could return Friday.

"Linder has been playing really well," Odrick said. …

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