It's going to be a season unlike any other.
By now, we're used to that phrase regarding just about everything. The upcoming NFL schedule is no different. Thus, so, too, will its Training Camp.
Never fear: the First Coast Sports Team has you covered every step of the way.
Monday, August 31
After an off day Sunday, the Jaguars were greeted with a bomb-shell Monday morning: the team had waived running back Leonard Fournette. The fourth-year back, who was entering the final year of his deal, now hits the waiver wire. Teams have until 4 p.m. Tuesday to claim Fournette, who is owed $4 million in 2020.
"We were going to have to make good decisions on what’s best for the team. Let’s not go ahead and say because someone did something before, maybe we’ll get the same type of results, or things [of that nature]," head coach Doug Marrone said Monday morning.
Then, the lone -- albeit big -- bit of news from Sunday became official: the team had traded Yannick Ngakoue to the Minnesota Vikings. Ngakoue had yet to sign his franchise tender with the Jaguars -- worth more than $17 million in 2020 -- but has agreed to a restructured, one-year deal with the Vikings worth $12 million. In other words: Ngakoue left more than $5 million on the table just to get out of Jacksonville.
It's a sign of the times.
Saturday, August 29
For a more in-depth look, check out Saturday's Quick Hits
Scrimmage day, she is here.
With no preseason games, Saturday was the first and only time we'll get to see the Jaguars at TIAA Bank Field prior to the season opener September 13.
The unquestioned star: fifth-round draftee Collin Johnson. Besides Pro Bowler D.J. Chark, Johnson was the most targeted receiver of the day and responded accordingly, hauling in more than half a dozen passes from all four quarterbacks, including a 35-yard touchdown from Josh Dobbs.
The "Jaguars" beat the "Jaguars" 24-20.
Eight players were held out of Saturday's scrimmage, including fellow rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault and center Brandon Linder; head coach Doug Marrone noted that both players could've played if Saturday was an actual game.
Tuesday, August 25
One of the more, "team period" heavy practices of Training Camp naturally coincided with one of the hottest days of the summer. Even with Monday's "maintenance day" for many veterans, Tuesday's practice was a bit sluggish at times -- but the Jaguars knew they had to "leave it all on the field."
After all: Wednesday is a mandatory off day.
Some "Quick Hits" from Tuesday's practice:
- Tre Herndon, now one of the de facto, elder statesmen in the Defensive Backs Room, had a tremendous pass break-up during red-zone drills (a would-be touchdown from Gardner Minshew to D.J. Chark, no less).
- Minshew's prettiest throw came in the final team period, a 30-plus yard, over-the-shoulder catch by D.J. Chark. The duo makes this sequence look easy; that was clearly demonstrated when, on the next play, Josh Dobbs attempted a similar throw to Michael Walker to no avail.
- Terry Godwin continues to impress, hauling in no less than five catches during team drills. He caught a touchdown in stride from Mike Glennon during red-zone drills, prompting cheers from the offense -- especially Chark and Leonard Fournette.
- Carl Davis, Cassius Marsh, and Adam Gotsis all had would-be sacks during team drills, showing maybe "Sacksonville" isn't as decimated as many previously believed.
- Dede Westbrook (shoulder) and Taven Bryan (knee) remained out, although head coach Doug Marrone indicated they would begin working their way back this week. Quincy Williams (core muscle) is also expected to begin work towards his return after successful surgery.
- Linebacker Dakota Allen (hip) was also held out. Rookie safety Daniel Thomas (hamstring) was also scheduled to be held out, but he was seen at practice with pads and a helmet.
Monday, August 24
Another scheduled "maintenance day" meant that more than a dozen Jaguars veterans -- including quarterback Gardner Minshew -- did not practice on the field today. But that did mean the spotlight shifted to the Jaguars' more than two dozen rookies.
Below are some "Quick Hits" from Monday's practice:
- C.J. Henderson (illness) returned for the practice for the first time in four days. The No. 9 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft struggled in one-on-one's against fourth-year receiver Keelan Cole, at one point popping Cole following a play in frustration. Position coach Tim Walton took Henderson off to the side, and the former Florida Gators recovered nicely in team drills.
- With Minshew held out, we got a better look at all three, back-up quarterbacks. During team drills, Mike Glennon completed a solid, 15-yard throw to Laviska Shenault and a 25-yard throw to Tyler Davis. However, he also threw three incompletions; and even those two catches were not thrown "in stride." Rookie Jake Luton also had an incompletion during the team drill, overthrowing Terry Godwin on "third down." Josh Dobbs was the only quarterback that converted on third-down, hitting Shenault on a slant route. He did have one incompletion during 7-on-7, but, other than that, appeared the most on-target of the three.
- With Leonard Fournette working out inside the facility, Ryquell Armstead and undrafted rookie James Robinson both had strong runs, including a 10-yard first down run from Robinson to end the day's practice. Both running backs, as well as undrafted rookie Nathan Cottrell, also had receptions during the team periods.
- Head coach Doug Marrone confirmed that Dede Westbrook (shoulder) and Taven Bryan (knee) are both suffering from bruises and are "day-to-day, week-to-week."
Sunday, August 23
The Jaguars kept it relatively light on Sunday, outside of a lengthy, two-minute offense drill in the final period. However, maybe that move to keep things light was due to even more names popping up on the Injury Report. On Sunday, that included Dede Westbrook (shoulder), C.J. Henderson (illness), Taven Bryan (bone bruise in knee), and Tyler Davis (knee). Davis' fellow tight ends Tyler Eifert and James O'Shaughnessey are expected to be limited on Monday, the team announced. In lighter news, Ronnie Harrison has fully passed concussion protocol and is a full-go.
Some other "Quick Hits" from Sunday's practice:
- Gardner Minshew was picked off for just the fourth time all camp, this time at the hands of cornerback Tre Herndon towards the end of practice. Only Andrew Wingard and Joe Schobert had picked off Minshew previously -- and neither are cornerbacks.
- Minshew uncorked a beautiful, 30+ yard pass to D.J. Chark at the start of the final team period, easily his prettiest pass of the day. He also connected with Eifert four times during that team period.
- Seventh-round draftee Chris Claybrooks stepped in in-place of C.J. Henderson at cornerback and showcased good coverage on a would-be, acrobatic touchdown by Laviska Shenault.
- With Claybrooks at corner opposite Herndon (and the incumbent Jarrod Wilson, Ronnie Harrison and D.J. Hayden filling the rest of the first team secondary), the second group secondary featured: Tremaine Brock, Luq Barcoo, Andrew Wingard, Josh Jones, and Josiah Scott.
- As the back-up quarterback competition heats up, Mike Glennon helped his case Sunday. He had an impressive strike to Chris Conley in stride in the team period.
- Rookie quarterback Jake Luton also continued to impress. Despite plenty of pressure, he did show he can move while not completely abandoning the pocket: in one instance, Luton was able to move around within the pocket to buy time before finding Terry Godwin over-the-middle. He may not move as east-to-west as Minshew, but his feet are not stuck in mud.
- Hybrid linebacker Cassius Marsh continued his fine camp, getting to Luton twice.
Saturday, August 22
For a more in-depth look at practice, check out Saturday's Quick Hits
After a "maintenance day" for 18 of the Jaguars' veterans, the hits were flying once again Saturday in their first quote-on-quote "scrimmage" periods of 2020 Training Camp.
Missing from the action: C.J. Henderson (illness) and Dede Westbrook (shoulder). Ronnie Harrison (concussion) was a full-go after being limited on Friday and missing Thursday's practice. Taven Bryan was helped off the field by trainers towards the end of practice.
Friday, August 21
Defensive lineman Josh Mauro suspended for first five games. Fellow defensive lineman Carl Davis is also suspended for the first four games for violating the league's substance policy.
Tuesday, August 18
For an in-depth look, check out Tuesday's "Quick Hits"
If Monday's practice -- the first in pads -- felt like a "Monday," then Tuesday definitely felt like a Tuesday. Or, in other words, that Florida heat had everybody feeling a bit sluggish.
The Jaguars got news late Monday night that yet another defensive lineman, Aaron Lynch, would be placed on the Reserve/Retired List. Additionally, linebacker Myles Jack missed practice once again with an undisclosed illness.
Monday, August 17
For an in-depth look, check out Monday's "Quick Hits"
On the first day of padded practices, the Jaguars got bit by the injury bug.
On the heels of Rodney Gunter's decision to walk away from football, the Jaguars announced that tight end Josh Oliver broke a bone in his foot while running at practice on Sunday. He will be out indefinitely. In addition, the Jaguars were without Myles Jack (illness) and Aaron Lynch (excused absence), as well as Quincy Williams (core muscle) who had successful surgery over the weekend. Head Coach Doug Marrone did say he expects first-round draftee K'Lavon Chaisson (hamstring) to return to the field later this week.
The Jaguars also added defensive tackle Tim Jernigan, who, having already passed through COVID-19 protocols, was on the field for the first time with the Jaguars. The Lake City (Columbia) product won a Super Bowl with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2017, but has been limited to just 13 games the last two seasons due to injuries.
Friday, August 14
For the first time since they arrived back at TIAA Bank Field in July, the Jaguars were able to pit their offense against their defense in 7-on-7 and 11-on-11 drills.
For the first time in a long time: it felt like football in Duval County.
Some news and notes from Friday's practice, the third of which media was able to attend. The Jaguars were limited to helmets and shorts; they will be in pads for the first time on Monday.
It's still early, but Laviska Shenault, the second-round draftee out of Colorado, has undoubtedly been the star of Training Camp so far. He caught several passes from starting quarterback Gardner Minshew, and from a variety of positions -- something offensive coordinator Jay Gruden has stressed will be part of the game plan in 2020.
Shenault also met the media for the first time. Asked of his goals for his rookie season, Shenault noted his primary goals are to have a "dog mindset" every single day and earn the respect of Duval County.
Minshew's First Day vs. Defense
For a man who won 6 games as a rookie in the NFL and 11 games at Washington State, it is incredible to think: this is the first preseason that Gardner Minshew II is the incumbent, starting quarterback since his senior year of high school.
Some highlights from his first day facing the Jaguars' revamped defense:
- Not one, but two, 30+ yard completions down the sideline to D.J. Chark
- Good connection with Shenault and new addition Tyler Eifert over the middle
- Minshew did miss Chris Conley once over the middle and again down the sideline (although the latter could be credited to tremendous defense and athleticism from rookie cornerback C.J. Henderson). But what really stood out: Minshew immediately called Conley over once the sequence was through, and then, on the ensuing possession, hit him on an easy route over the middle. It may have been small, but it appeared to be a concerted effort to further their repertoire and build confidence in Conley.
- We learned last year that, like Nick Foles, Minshew enjoys his tight ends. Don't be surprised to see more 12-personnel -- especially with the Jaguars still leaning on bell-cow Leonard Fournette, too.
- Northeast Florida's own Shaquille Quarterman appears to be the beneficiary of Quincy Williams' core muscle injury that will keep him sidelined for an indefinite amount of time. Quarterman, who played the MIKE linebacker position at the University of Miami, was leading and calling the defensive unit he was paired with on Friday. One of the knocks on him coming out of college was that he was a bit undersized, and while Quarterman certainly looks a bit smaller compared to the likes of, say, Myles Jack: he is still packing a punch
- With Ryquell Armstead still sidelined on the Reserve/COVID-19 List, the door is open for a third and fourth running back to emerge behind Fournette and Chris Thompson. Both second-year player Devine Ozigbo and undrafted free agent James Robinson showed speed today; Robinson had several nice cuts that really stood out and drew cheers from many players on the field. Robinson, the state of Illinois' all-time prep rusher, is much more of a bruiser in the mold of Leonard Fournette, but showed agility on Friday.
- Seventh-round draftee Chris Claybrooks was taken out of Memphis primarily for his role as a kick and punt returner. So maybe it should come as no surprise that, as the Jaguars began special teams drills, Claybrooks was the first returner in the line-up -- even ahead of veteran Dede Westbrook. Claybrooks is listed as a defensive back, and played both at the nickel and true cornerback positions Friday.
News and Notes
- In talking about the speed and agility shown by Ozigbo and Robinson, credit must be given to Florida State grad Chris Thompson. The first-year Jaguar is expected to be a third-down, receiving back in Jay Gruden's offense, but he showed speed in hitting holes early on Friday.
- Fournette also looked lean and quick, escaping through many holes off the left side untouched -- a credit to the work put in by left tackle Cam Robinson this off-season in the final year of his rookie contract.
- After working out on the side Thursday, tight end James O'Shaughnessey was back with the team albeit in a limited capacity Friday. The Jaguars say this is all part of his "return-to-play" plan after tearing his ACL in 2019. Rookie defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson (hamstring) worked off to the side today, as did defensive tackle Dontavius Russell (hip). Russell remains on the team's Physically Unable to Perform List.
- After clearing COVID-19 protocol, recent free agent signees CB Tramaine Brock and DL Josh Mauro were on the field for the first time.
Wednesday, August 12
As part of Phase II of Training Camp, the Jaguars were back on the field and in front of the assembled media for the first time. Although there were no 1-on-1 and 11-on-11 drills permitted (the offense and the defense are not allowed to be on the same field at this time either), helmets were on and the pigskin was thrown.
Before they took the field, the Jaguars received good news: tight end James O'Shaughnessey was taken off the Physically Unable to Perform List, as he continues to recover from a torn ACL. He joins a "loaded" tight end room that his head coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Jay Gruden have had plenty of praise for.
- - - -
Other notes from First Coast Sports' first day back at TIAA Bank Field:
- Rookie defensive end K'Lavon Chaisson worked off to the side after suffering a hamstring injury. However, he did work after practice with Josh Allen. This, of course, was a mentor role the now-departed Calais Campbell played for Allen in 2019.
- Allen, a Pro Bowler last year, looked even leaner in our first look at him in 2020. He was also as critical of his performance of any player on the field -- not afraid to drop down and do push-up's for even the slightest misstep.
- The absence of the 6'8'' aforementioned Campbell leaves a literal hole in the Jaguars' defensive line room. However, rookie DaVon Hamilton (6'4'', 327 lbs) has the size to help fill that void. 2018 first-rounder Taven Bryan is also among the more veteran -- and larger -- presciences in that position group now; he appeared as focused as we've seen him and drew praise from his coaches during drills.
- Gruden and Gardner Minshew both were available for comment after practice. As has been evident through the various players made available the first two weeks of camp, the relationship appears to be working. Gruden arguably had the quote of the day, calling Phase II workouts "still in diapers."
- When asked about O'Shaughnessey and the tight ends group, Gruden once again brought up 2019 third-round draft pick Josh Oliver and his "unique" skill-set. Oliver missed almost all of his rookie season with injuries.
- Rookie wide receiver Laviska Shenault showed off his impressive speed and solid hands.
- Above all: it felt good to see some live football once more.
Tuesday, August 11
In his first availability of the preseason, Jaguars' general manager Dave Caldwell did confirm that he has spoken to defensive end Yannick Ngakoue this week. Ngakoue, who has yet to sign his franchise tender with the club and, thus, report to camp, parted ways with his agent on Monday.
Caldwell said he would refrain from commenting, leaving that up to Ngakoue to address.
Friday, August 7
D.J. Chark Meets the Media
Tuesday, August 4
Gardner Minshew taken off Reserve/COVID-19 List, Meets Media
Sunday, August 2
The Jaguars received some positive news Sunday morning.. and some not so positive by day's end.
At 10 a.m., three players were activated off the Reserve/ COVID-19 List: starting right tackle Jawaan Taylor, rookie defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton and tight end Charles Jones.
By 4 p.m., five players -- including Jones -- were placed on the Reserve/COVID 19 List. Among those five players: starting quarterback Gardner Minshew. Joining him and Jones are wide receiver Michael Walker, running back Ryquell Armstead, and safety Andrew Wingard.
A player is placed on the Reserve / COVID-19 List if they have contracted the virus or have been in close proximity to someone with the virus. Players must submit two negative results and complete an undisclosed amount of days in quarantine before being eligible to return to the active roster.
The Jaguars PR team said that Jones being re-placed on the list was due to "new procedures" in the NFL's policy.
Additionally, the Jaguars signed fifth-year defensive end Adam Gotsis on Sunday. The Australian-born, Georgia Tech product was originally a second round selection of the Denver Broncos in 2016. He has tallied 109 tackles, 13 passes defended, five sacks and two forced fumbles in his career. This move comes after veteran defensive end Lerentee McCray announced he was opting out of the 2020 season.
Saturday, August 1
After five days of initial COVID-19 testing, Jaguars veterans who have reported three negative tests are allowed to enter the facility to take physicals and prepare for a week of strength and conditioning.
However, with those physicals has come some news on the injury front: starting nickel cornerback D.J. Hayden (knee) and tight end James O'Shaughnessy (knee) have been placed on the team's Active/Physically Unable to Perform lists. O'Shaughnessy is recovering from a torn ACL he suffered Week Five of the 2019 season.
Additionally, veteran defensive end Lerentee McCray became the second Jaguar in as many days to opt out of the 2020 season. He joins defensive tackle Al Woods, who opted out on Friday.
- - - - -
For all teams whose regular season begins September 13, preseason training can formally begin on Monday, July 27.
However, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the NFL and NFLPA's CBA agreement, the Jaguars won't be hitting the field on Day One. According to the NFL Network, here's a rough estimate of what these next few weeks will look like at TIAA Bank Field.
July 21 -- Rookies Report for COVID-19 Testing
July 28-31 -- PCR Test and Virtual Meetings
- Day 1: COVID Testing
- Day 2: COVID Testing
- Day 3: No Testing
- Day 4: COVID Testing
August 1-2 -- Physicals and Equipment
August 3-11 -- Acclimation Period
- 60 minutes weight room and 60 minutes of on-field conditioning
- Total strength and conditioning workouts (small groups under 15) capped at 120 minutes
- Walk-Thru's permitted up to 60 minutes on each of the first four days and up to 75 minutes on each of the final four days
- August 8: Off Day
August 12-16 -- Gradual Ramp Up Period
- Maximum of 3.5 hours on-field daily time
- First practice starts at 90 minutes with maximum of 15 minute increase daily
- Helmets and approved protective shirts
- August 15: Off Day
August 17-September 6 -- Contact Integration Period
- First practice starts at 90 minutes with 15 minute daily increase
- Maximum of 14 padded practices during Contact Integration Period
Three Key Story lines for the 2020 Season
Three Keys for Gardner Minshew in 2020
As availability allows, the First Coast Sports Team will update this web page to reflect the latest on the 2020 Jaguars Team. Follow us at @FCNSports on Twitter.