Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; Injured Gerhart's Preseason Over

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook; Injured Gerhart's Preseason Over

Article excerpt

Byline: Hays Carlyon

The Jaguars short-yardage rushing success might be put on hold for the rest of the preseason.

Running back Toby Gerhart was ruled out for Friday's game against Detroit with an abdominal strain.

The 6-foot, 231-pound Gerhart converted three first downs running on third-and-short situations in Saturday's 22-12 loss at the New York Giants. The Jaguars believe Gerhart will be ready for the regular-season opener against Carolina on Sept. 13.

"It's a strain, so he needs time this week and next week," Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said. "We'll see how it goes, but he should be ready for Week 1. ... We're relieved it isn't a sports hernia or anything that would have kept him out for quite a while."

Gerhart has shown his power running style in the preseason with gains of 6, 3 and 4 yards to convert third-down situations against New York. He converted another third-down situation in the first preseason game against Pittsburgh, gaining 4 yards.

"We've been getting a good push," Gerhart said. "Everybody has been assignment sound and is moving guys off the ball. It's a mindset. It's something we've all bought into. We want to be physical, aggressive and you're not going to stop us. We have that mindset that we're going to get this no matter what."

Gerhart's 2014 campaign was marred by a foot injury sustained in the first game against Philadelphia. He only missed two games, but the injury plagued him all season.

"Last year with my foot, it really inhibited everything - pushing off and cutting," Gerhart said. "Anytime I had to run left or cross over, the angle of the foot bothered me. I couldn't cut, drive through a linebacker in short-yardage situations. This year, things are great. I'm excited to be more explosive and powerful."

Bradley said after Wednesday's practice that someone else will have to step into Gerhart's role, but declined to say which player.

While Gerhart is out, rookie T.J. Yeldon is expected to make his debut and will give the backfield a boost. The second-round pick missed the first two preseason games with an injured pinkie finger.

SAMPLE UNCERTAIN

The Jaguars listed linebacker Khairi Fortt and rookie free safety James Sample as game-time decisions.

Sample returned to practice in full this week after going through sessions last week in a non-contact jersey. The fourth-round pick broke his forearm in June.

"I'd like to play," Sample said. "I want to get some experience and some reps before Week 1."

Bradley said Tuesday that it was too early to gauge Sample's progress. Sample gave his assessment on Wednesday.

"I know what I have to do in our run fits and my responsibilities in pass plays," Sample said. "The hardest part has been the tempo and trying to keep up with guys. …

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