Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Jaguars Notebook

Article excerpt

Byline: Vito Stellino, Times-Union sports writer

DARIUS LISTED AS QUESTIONABLE

Safety Donovin Darius, who has missed only seven games in his five-year career, might be on the verge of missing his eighth.

Darius wasn't able to practice yesterday for the second day in a row because of the shoulder injury he suffered last Sunday in Dallas. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's game against Pittsburgh.

Darius missed the last two games of his rookie season in 1998 with a hip/groin/abdominal injury and the last five games last year with a broken hip. He has played and started in the team's other 68 games since he was drafted in the first round in 1998.

The injury for Darius is ill-timed because he's a free agent at the end of the season and wants a big finish to boost his leverage in the free agent market.

WRs Jimmy Smith (shin) and Bobby Shaw (toe) were limited in practice yesterday, but both are expected to play. WR Patrick Johnson's status is uncertain because he was limited and has already missed four of the last five games with an abdominal injury.

BATTLES MIGHT START AGAINST FORMER TEAM

Darius' injury means that Ainsley Battles, who replaced Darius in the second quarter last Sunday, played 31 snaps, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble, could make his third start of the year.

Battles was claimed by the Jaguars after he was cut by the Steelers just before the 2001 season opener against Pittsburgh. The Jaguars have a history of signing former Steelers before playing Pittsburgh, but Battles wasn't just a player they picked up for his knowledge of the Steelers. He started 11 games last year.

The Jaguars didn't sign a former Steeler this week, but Pittsburgh signed former Jaguars center Jeff Smith.

"Jeff Smith just happened to be the best center that we thought that was out there," coach Bill Cowher said. …

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