Jaguars vs. Buccaneers: 10 Jacksonville players to watch in the second preseason game

Jaguars vs. Buccaneers: Beat writer Mike Kaye previews the second preseason game

The Jaguars are set to host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the team's second preseason game Thursday.

Jacksonville is coming off a victory in the preseason opener against the New England Patriots. Since most of the Jaguars' starters were held to just one quarter of work against the Patriots, Jacksonville's reserve talent carried most of the load against New England. That is likely to change this week.

The Buccaneers are set to play their starters for the majority - if not all - of the first half this week. The Jaguars, while not acknowledging it publicly, may follow suit.

Added reps for quarterback Blake Bortles and the first-team offense may answer a few more questions against the Buccaneers' highly regarded attack. The Jaguars' remodeled defense could also offer more clarity against Tampa Bay quarterback Jameis Winston and his offense.

Before the two teams kickoff at 8 p.m. on ABC 25 (locally) and ESPN (nationally), let's take a look at 10 players who are worth keeping an eye on during the Jaguars' second preseason game.

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Blake Bortles 

The quarterback only attempted five passes last week. He took what the defense gave him and his two incompletions were a drop and a throwaway pass in the end zone when none of his receivers could get open. Bortles is destined for a larger workload in his second week of action. If he can continue to make accurate throws and limit poor decisions, the external criticism of his play may fade a bit.

 

Cam Robinson

The favorite to win the Jaguars' left tackle job did well in his debut. He held his ground as a pass blocker and offered up positive moments as a run blocker. His work was limited to the first half last week and he will get another chance to play his way into the blindside job against Tampa Bay. 

 

T.J. Yeldon

With first-round rookie running back Leonard Fournette out with a foot injury, Yeldon has the opportunity to show off his skills with a larger workload. The Jaguars actively featured the running game in the preseason opener, and if history repeats itself, that could lead to a busy night for Yeldon.

Strong in the receiving game, especially in pass protection, Yeldon could be a trade chip if there is a major injury elsewhere. Even if he doesn't become a piece in a trade, a strong performance could lead to more work with the Jaguars offense this season.

 

Keelan Cole

The undrafted rookie wide receiver has been nearly unstoppable during training camp. He had a strong preseason debut with a 97-yard touchdown reception and 108 receiving yards overall against New England. Another special performance could not only lock up a roster spot but an actual role on Sundays for Cole.

 

Tommy Bohanon

The veteran fullback on the roster is battling rookie Marquez Williams for the starting job. Williams has the backing of his draft status, while Bohanon has three years of actual NFL experience. However, Bohanon has struggled with catching the ball during training camp. He needs to prove he can positively impact running plays, while also finding consistency as a receiver. 

 

Jeremiah Poutasi

The third-year right tackle has been swapping back-and-forth with starter Jermey Parnell in practice throughout training camp. While he doesn't have a shot at unseating Parnell as a starter, he may be able to land a role as the swing tackle this season. With Josh Wells also receiving starting reps, it appears that the two veterans are battling to be the first tackle off the bench.

 

Myles Jack

The Jaguars have moved Jack back to the SAM linebacker spot after spending the entire summer in the middle. Jack played on the strong side for the majority of his rookie season, so his new (possibly temporary) role shouldn't take much of an adjustment.

Can he be that much more effective at SAM than MIKE linebacker? It's a question worth answering for the Jaguars.

 

Brian Dixon

With Jalen Ramsey and Aaron Colvin sidelined, Dixon has received plenty of starting reps in training camp. The veteran has recently received praise from Ramsey. He may have a shot at the active roster following the release of fellow cornerback Josh Johnson. Dixon is likely to start against the Buccaneers with starter A.J. Bouye missing Tuesday's practice.

 

Malliciah Goodman

The former Atlanta Falcons draft pick has emerged as of late. He has been able to stand out during individual and team drills as a pass rusher and run defender. With two or three depth defensive line jobs open, Goodman could land a spot with positive performances over the next two weeks. 

 

Sheldon Day

Much like Goodman, Day has seen a recent spark. Last year's fourth-round pick is battling to become the first three-technique off the bench. He could be in for some serious work on Thursday.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

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