Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags' Taylor May Return This Season

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jags' Taylor May Return This Season

Article excerpt

Byline: Gene Frenette, Times-Union sports writer

Even with the season almost over and Stacey Mack posting consecutive 100-yard rushing games for the first time, Jaguars coach Tom Coughlin still won't rule out the possibility of Fred Taylor returning.

"If Fred can come back and contribute, I would do it," Coughlin said yesterday on the heels of the team's 33-3 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, the second most lopsided road win in franchise history.

Taylor, who could not be reached for comment yesterday, has been sidelined since Sept. 23 when he suffered a groin injury in which tendon tore off the bone during a game against the Tennessee Titans. While he's back practicing in a scout-team capacity, Taylor has not been activated for games despite being listed as questionable -- which means a 50-50 chance of playing by NFL standards -- for the last several weeks.

In the past 18 days, the Jaguars have placed starters Aaron Beasley (shoulder), Kevin Hardy (knee) and T.J. Slaughter (knee) on injured reserve, thus ending their seasons. Coughlin says he has no intention of doing that with Taylor because the team's career rushing leader (3,740 yards) needs to rehabilitate on the field, which makes his case different than others on IR.

"[It's] because Fred can practice and he can contribute and help us get ready to play," Coughlin said. "He can be the opponent's running back, even as restricted as he is. He gives us another person to [provide repetitions] in practice. All these things are part of his rehab right now. That's what he's supposed to be doing is extending himself."

Two weeks ago, Taylor, who has missed 22-of-62 career regular-season games with various injuries, expressed doubts about returning this season. He said he was anxious to get to the offseason and begin a new training regimen, including the process of hiring a personal trainer to help with flexibility and diet.

Despite Mack's success the past two weeks, Coughlin wants Taylor to keep pushing himself on the practice field, and, if possible, get some action in Sunday's final home game against Kansas City or next week against the Chicago Bears. …

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