The Jacksonville Jaguars could see the return of suspended wide receiver Ace Sanders before the end of the NFL preseason, according to head coach Gus Bradley.
"He’s doing really well. The minimal contact we’ve had – it’s been texting back and forth. His response has been really good," Bradley told reporters on Sunday. "This was a couple weeks ago – we thought there was a chance of maybe the fourth preseason game."
Sanders has missed all of Jaguars training camp thus far, voluntarily, after he announced he was expecting a four game suspension from the NFL. Sanders, with permission from the team, opted to spend some time away to get himself back on the right track and it appears that could be the case. Sanders reappeared on Twitter over the weekend with a new handle and it's possible he gets some time in the fourth preseason, if he returns.
"I believe he’s been working out, but it’s never the same," Bradley said, via Ryan O'Halloran of The Florida Times-Union. "Before we say, ‘Yes, he’s definitely playing,’ we would have to see how he is. But if everything goes good and he’s in shape and ready to go and he’s back here, then we would do that."
As Bradley states, if Sanders is to play in the fourth preseason game he'll likely need to show up to the Jaguars facility at some point this week and prove on the practice field he's still in game shape. The Jaguars are hurting at the wide receiver position, so injecting Sanders for the preseason finale would help some, but he's still going to miss the first four weeks of the regular season.
With Sanders out, it's given reps to guys like Allen Hurns at the receiver position, who's essentially forced himself on to the roster with his play.