Ivory returned to practice on Wednesday after sitting out the past two weeks. He was upgraded to a “full” participant on Thursday and lines up as a solid bet to share carries alongside T.J. Yeldon.
Jacksonville’s offense has missed Ivory on the ground, ranking 30th in the league with just 117 yards over two games. Yeldon and Ivory looked like a spicy combination in the preseason, though, giving the 0-2 Jaguars a reason for hope once both runners can rumble together.
The Patriots won’t have suspended quarterback Tom Brady on Sunday and cheap jerseys and they aren’t likely to have Dont’a Hightower, either. The linebacker missed his third straight practice Friday with a knee injury, per NFL Network’s Courtney Fallon, and is doubtful for the Dolphins game.
Tight end Rob Gronkowski was limited in practice Friday and is listed as questionable. Cornerback Malcolm Butler (ankle), offensive lineman Marcus Cannon (knee), offensive lineman Jonathan Cooper (foot), defensive end Trey Flowers (shoulder), offensive lineman Shaq Mason (hand), linebacker Shea McClellin (shoulder), offensive lineman Nate Solder (hamstring) and receiver Chris Hogan (shoulder) are all listed as questionable as well. Cornerback Eric Rowe (ankle) will miss the game.
“I returned to the stadium this morning to rejoin my coaches and teammates as we continue to prepare for the San Diego Chargers on Sunday. This past weekend was a challenging time for my family and me because of an emergency medical condition that developed while I was with my team at the hotel.
“I am now grateful to be back in the facility and able to refocus on the game that I love. I want to extend a special thanks to the Jaguars medical staff, the first responders and everyone at Baptist Medical Center Jacksonville for their assistance over the past couple of days. I appreciate everyone’s sensitivity during this personal matter, and I’m ready to be back out on the field and look forward to doing so in the near future. Thank you for all for your support. I want you to know that I read each and every message and I’m thankful for them all.”
The 28-year-old running back was a surprise inactive for Week 1’s 27-23 loss to the Green Bay Packers after he was admitted to the hospital Sunday morning.
The Jaguars have not indicated the reason for Ivory’s hospitalization. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport previously reported the issue was unrelated to the calf trouble that landed Ivory in the questionable section of the team’s injury report.
While you cannot blame all your struggles on one person, something just doesn’t look quite right with Bortles. He missed a streaking Marqise Lee early in Sunday’s loss which could have produced the three points that won the game. Instead, they punted to the Ravens and gave up a touchdown. Over the course of the game, Bortles struggled with touch on his passes — all of which seemed to be slightly too strong or too weak. He also watched as some of his best plays were called back (like a lengthy screen to Marcedes Lewis in the second quarter that was called back for a holding penalty). There were large chunks of the game where he looked dejected or upset.
This week, Bortles has one more good opportunity to turn it around before the season really starts to slip away. If he corrects course after an 0-4 start, it may be similar to his breakout season in 2015 — too late for enough people to take notice.
Jameis Winston had a slow start, misfiring on his first six passes, but rebounded against Jacksonville’s second-team defense and found Mike Evans on a fade route for a 4-yard score. Winston finished 3-of-10 passing for 28 yards, with an interception.
Tampa Bay (1-1) and Jacksonville (0-2) held two joint practices during the week, so they had plenty of in-person preparation before a mostly meaningless exhibition.