Just a few days ahead of a home tilt with the Houston Texans, the Jags (1-1) are in a much better space as a team.
“It has been a lot better,” Pederson said of this week’s practice on Friday. “Guys have had a couple good days here. We are working through the dynamics of everything. It has been a good week.”
This week of practice has featured almost the entire roster, as the team will be getting most everyone back from injuries that were suffered from the Chiefs game or before.
Linebacker Josh Allen “should be OK,” for Sunday according to Pederson. Defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi is the same.
Wide receiver Zay Jones is “probably still more day-to-day,” but Pederson did not rule him out.
Rookie safety Antonio Johnson is essentially the only injured player that will not be ready to go, as Pederson said he is “not ready yet.”
Andrew Wingard, Luke Fortner and Brandon Scherff are all good to go.
The first time the Jaguars and Texans played last season, the Texans got the upper hand and won in a sloppy 13-6 matchup.
Then-rookie Travon Walker committed one of a few late hits of his early career in that game, something that Pederson said not only Walker, but the whole team has learned from since that October loss.
“You learn from mistakes,” Pederson said. “I don’t think (Walker) thinks twice about it. You just can’t make those mistakes. Something you learn from.”
The team will be looking for a big game from not only Walker but the whole defense, as the unit looks to harass rookie quarterback C.J. Stroud.
Last year, the Texans rode then-rookie Dameon Pierce to almost 1,000 yards in 13 games while trying to survive shaky quarterback play.
This season, as injuries have hemorrhaged the Texans’ offensive line, Pierce has only been able to put together 69 rushing yards through two games.
Still, the Texans will look to establish the run early and often in order to set Stroud up for success.
“We know they have a pretty good run game,” Pederson said. “Obviously (Stroud) is athletic and throws the ball well. They have got pieces there that have surrounded that quarterback. There is still going to be a mistake made here and there, but they have minimized some of those.”
Pederson said dealing with a quarterback like Stroud will be similar to dealing with the Indianapolis Colts’ Anthony Richardson or the Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes.
“You have got to stay extremely disciplined,” Pederson said. “Stay locked into the game plan and do your job.”
Looking ahead, Pederson confirmed a few items about the team’s two-week trip to London.
The Jaguars have their schedule and travel plans finalized, and will be adding a player to their midst: Cam Robinson.
Robinson has been around the team in meetings and film sessions, but has not been able to practice. As soon as the Falcons game ends, Robinson will be a full member of the squad again.
“Attitude has been great,” Pederson said of Robinson. “He is excited to be back in the building. It is great to see him back.”
The team will not be flying out defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton however, as Hamilton works through a back injury.
Pederson said he is “getting closer” but will not make the trip abroad.
The good news for Jaguars’ fans is that the centerpiece of the defensive line is apparently “on a good track for getting back soon” according to Pederson.