The Jaguars were without two players at practice Thursday.
Wide receiver Marqise Lee (ribs) missed his second-straight practice to start the week. Defensive end Lerentee McCray (knee) also missed practice after being limited Wednesday.
If Lee were to miss Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers, he would probably be replaced by some combination of Arrelious Benn, Keelan Cole and Max McCaffrey.
There's also the possibility that fellow wide receiver Jaelan Strong (hamstring) makes his Jaguars debut against the Steelers. Strong practiced in a limited capacity for a second-straight day.
Center Brandon Linder (illness) and safety Jarrod Wilson (shoulder) returned to practice after missing Wednesday's session. Their participation was limited though.
Below is the complete practice participation report for the Jaguars' Thursday practice:
DNP: WR Marqise Lee (ribs), DE Lerentee McCray (knee)
LIMITED: WR Jaelen Strong (hamstring), CB Jalen Ramsey (ankle), S Jarrod Wilson (shoulder), RG A.J. Cann (hand), C Brandon Linder (illness), DT Malik Jackson (groin)
FULL: QB Blake Bortles (right wrist), LB Donald Payne (hamstring), RB Leonard Fournette (ankle), FB Tommy Bohanon (knee)
Tomlin talks Jaguars' pass rush, running game
The Jaguars have seen major flashes from their young pass rushers and first-round running back through four games. Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has also taken notice.
Defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler combined for seven sacks and three forced fumbles in the first quarter of the season. On Wednesday, Tomlin told Jacksonville reporters that the productivity has helped the entire Jacksonville defense.
"Those guys are really providing a wave that the rest of that defense can ride," Tomlin said. "They're not only making plays, they're making splash plays. Not only sacks but sack fumbles. That's significant and I'd imagine [the Jaguars] are excited about it."
Running back Leonard Fournette has scored a touchdown in every game of his rookie season so far. He has easily been the Jaguars' top option on offense.
Tomlin has been impressed by Fournette's versatility.
"He's definitely got a run demeanor," Tomlin said. "He's a downhill, but at the same time, he's capable of bouncing it on the perimeter. I think he's proven his draft status in a short period of time, but it's not only him. We've got a lot of respect for Chris Ivory and that entire running back group."
Tomlin will get an up-close look at the Jaguars' young talent on Sunday at Heinz Field. The Week 5 matchup between the Jaguars and the Steelers will kick off at 1 p.m.
More News and Notes
- Punter Brad Nortman set a new career-high with five punts inside the New York Jets' 20-yard line in Week 4. The veteran punter, now in his second season in Jacksonville, told First Coast News that he has started to find his rhythm this season.
“Overall, I felt I hit the ball well, the way I wanted to on most of my punts,” Nortman said. “Put our defense in good position, which is what I’m trying to do. So overall, I feel like I’m in a good rhythm overall right now and just building on that and trying to remain comfortable. It’s a long season but it always takes time to get back into game rhythm and experience what that’s like and to be put in the situations that you are.”
- Fullback Tommy Bohanon has been targeted six times this season. He has caught four passes for 23 yards.
That's a decent amount of work for a position that was largely filled by defensive tackles over the last few years.
"It's very nice to be able to be used in a lot of different aspects of the game on offense," Bohanon said. "Being able to run routes and do different things like that is something I pride myself on, so I'm glad to be able to be given the opportunity to do that."
- Former Jaguars tight end Neal Sterling was waived by the New York Jets Thursday. The Jaguars selected Sterling with a seventh-round pick in 2015.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.