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Status of Jacksonville Jaguars’ A.J. Bouye unclear after talk of injury – WSAIGO Sports
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Status of Jacksonville Jaguars’ A.J. Bouye unclear after talk of injury

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — It appears the Jacksonville Jaguars are going to be without one of their top defensive players for Sunday’s game at Indianapolis — but they may be betting their top offensive player back, too.

Cornerback A.J. Bouye politely declined an interview request on Wednesday by saying he wasn’t going to play against the Colts because of his calf injury. Bouye was hurt against Houston on Oct. 20 and missed the Jaguars’ game against Philadelphia in London the following week.

However, coach Doug Marrone said “that’s news to me” when told of Bouye’s comment before the Jaguars hit the practice field.

“I guess I’ll have to talk to him about that,” Marrone said. “That’s not what the trainer told me. He did say that? OK, we will take care of that. That’s not been told to me by the trainer. That’s the truth.”

Bouye is tied for the team lead with five pass breakups and has one interception. He led the Jaguars with 18 pass breakups and six interceptions last season, which earned him a spot in the Pro Bowl and on the All-Pro second team.

Marrone did get some good news on Wednesday, though, because running back Leonard Fournette practiced fully for the first time since he aggravated his right hamstring injury in Week 4. Marrone did not say whether that meant Fournette would play against Indianapolis, but it’s clearly a good sign for the player around which the Jaguars built the offense.

Marrone said the team will not limit Fournette if he is able to play.

“We are full-boring everybody,” Marrone said. “Once a guy is ready to play, that has to be our expectation. I think you get into trouble when you put a player on the field and he is not able to live up to the expectation that you have for him meaning that all of a sudden now if something happens, it’s kind of like a built-in excuse. That’s the way I’ve always viewed it. I have always told players [if someone says], ‘I’m going to go out there, but I don’t feel like whatever …’ What does that mean? If they say, ‘I’m not 100 percent, I can’t do what’s expected of me.’ Well, then, I can’t put him on the field.”

Fournette originally hurt his right hamstring late in the first half of the season opener against the New York Giants and missed the next two games. He returned against the New York Jets in Week 4 and ran 11 times for 30 yards and caught one pass for 5 yards before aggravating the injury.

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Carson Wentz expected to be healthy for Philadelphia Eagles’ offseason program in April

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Despite not playing in the final five games of the season, Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is expected to be healthy enough to be a full participant in Philadelphia’s offseason program in April if the team wants him to, league sources told ESPN.

Wentz is recovering from a stress fracture in his back but has been participating in a strengthening program.

One source said there are theories that his back injury could be tied to his knee injury from the 2017 season, but there is no proof.

The Eagles confirmed their commitment to Wentz as their franchise quarterback this past week, when coach Doug Pederson and executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman reiterated that Wentz — not Nick Foles — would be their starter going forward.

Foles, last year’s Super Bowl MVP, stepped in for the injured Wentz again in December and guided the Eagles to a playoff berth with three straight wins to finish the regular season. He led them to a road win over the Bears in the wild-card round before falling to the Saints in the divisional round last Sunday.

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Adam Vinatieri, 46, wants to play 24th season in NFL in 2019

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The NFL’s all-time leading scorer, 46-year-old kicker Adam Vinatieri, wants to play his 24th season in the league in 2019, a league source told ESPN.

Vinatieri is scheduled to be a free agent, and sources think the Indianapolis Colts are interested in re-signing him.

Vinatieri and the Colts were eliminated from the playoffs last week in the AFC divisional round by the Kansas City Chiefs. He said he plans to take a week or two off to relax before making a decision.

“Have a couple little things body-wise that I want to get checked out and make sure we’re all good and moving forward,” Vinatieri said this past week. “I haven’t made a decision yet, to be honest with you. … If they want to talk, I’m willing to listen, that’s for damn sure.”

Vinatieri said he likes the direction Indianapolis is headed under general manager Chris Ballard and coach Frank Reich. But the Colts will have to determine whether they want to re-sign him.

ESPN’s Mike Wells contributed to this report.

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Jack Del Rio expected to be candidate for Cincinnati Bengals’ defensive coordinator

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As the Bengals wait to hire Rams quarterbacks coach Zac Taylor as their next head coach, there already are ideas about who might be Cincinnati’s next defensive coordinator.

Former Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio is expected to be a candidate for the position, league sources told ESPN.

Taylor is expected to pursue a veteran NFL coach for such an important job because other young, inexperienced head coaches have done the same in the past. After being named the Rams’ head coach, Sean McVay hired veteran NFL defensive coordinator Wade Phillips in 2017, and Andy Reid hired veteran Jim Johnson in 1999 when he first became an NFL head coach with the Eagles.

People around Taylor want him to follow a similar path by bringing aboard a veteran coach to run the Bengals’ defense, sources said, and he and Del Rio share the same agent.

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