NFL

Jaguars prepare without Jones-Drew, expect Gabbert back

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Associated Press
10/24/2012 5:40:56 PM
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars had the worst offence in the league with running back Maurice Jones-Drew and quarterback Blaine Gabbert healthy.

Now, Jones-Drew is out indefinitely because of a sprained left foot and Gabbert is going to try to play with an injured non-throwing shoulder.

"Yeah, we're in a bad spot," linebacker Paul Posluszny said Wednesday.

That could be an understatement, especially with the Jaguars (1-5) playing at Green Bay (4-3) on Sunday.

Jones-Drew was using a push scooter to get around the facility Wednesday, trying to keep weight off his booted foot. Gabbert, meanwhile, struggled to raise his left arm during warm-ups before practice. But the second-year player fully participated in practice.

It's unclear how long Jones-Drew will be sidelined. He injured his foot on the first play of Sunday's 26-23 loss at Oakland and finished the game on crutches. He said Wednesday he doesn't expect to need surgery.

"It's kind of a waiting game right now," Jones-Drew said. "I don't know anything. Just trying to get myself together."

Gabbert will have a better idea about his shoulder and his ability to manage pain later in the week, after taking the majority of snaps in practice.

"There is always going to be something," Gabbert said. "You're always going to be in pain, whether it's your arms, legs, knees, neck. That's just part of the game, part of the sport. You just have to manage it and deal with it the best you can."

The Jaguars didn't deal with either injury very well last week.

Rashad Jennings ran 21 times for 44 yards and a touchdown in place of Jones-Drew.

"That's not a production that I'm happy to put on the field," Jennings said. "I've got to get better. There's a lot on me. I put the onus on me."

Jennings started the season opener at Minnesota following Jones-Drew's lengthy holdout but injured his right knee early in the game and has played sparingly since. He will make his fifth career start Sunday.

"Regardless if we got criticism or we got praise, it's about getting a win on the board," Jennings said. "So as grown men in this locker room, we're taking it amongst ourselves to go out here and get a win."

The Jaguars are trying to avoid the franchise's second 1-6 start (2003).

The problems have been aplenty. The offensive line has been inconsistent at best. Gabbert has rushed things in the pocket. There have been 20 dropped passes. The defence has generated little pass rush, missed tackles and blown assignments in the secondary.

Chad Henne experienced some of the offensive issues firsthand when he replaced Gabbert in the second quarter against the Raiders. Henne completed 9 of 20 passes for 71 yards in relief and was sacked three times.

"Everybody has to do their job, whether it was protection, some of the routes, me being inpatient at times," Henne said. "It's just a lot of things. It's definitely 11 guys doing the right thing at all times, and that's what makes the offence go."

Jacksonville's offence has gone nowhere all season. The Jaguars are averaging 236 yards a game -- about 60 yards less than 31st place Arizona -- and has shown few signs of progress in coach Mike Mularkey's first season.

"It's hard to be consistent when you don't have your guys in there week in and week out," Mularkey said. "Hopefully these guys stepping in will help our team win."

Mularkey remains positive despite having to play without Jones-Drew. Why?

"I just think we've been in this position early in training camp when we were going against some of those teams without Maurice," he said. "We can function."

Maurice Jones-Drew (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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