Jaguars’ Jones-Drew feeling better, hopes to play

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew’s left foot is still hurting. His humor appears to be just fine.

Jones-Drew was held out of practice as a precaution on Wednesday after his foot swelled up in the morning, three days after he suffered a strained tendon while being tackled by Oakland Raiders safety Charles Woodson in the first half of Jacksonville’s 19-9 loss.

The veteran running back talked excitedly about visiting family and friends as the Jaguars stay in Northern California in preparation for Sunday’s game in Seattle. He grew up in Oakland and his mother still lives in the area.

But Jones-Drew also had some choice words for Tracy McGrady after the former NBA star went on Twitter and said the winless Jaguars should offer him a tryout at quarterback or wide receiver.

“Jacksonville @jaguars need to bring me on in for a tryout at QB or receiver!” McGrady tweeted on Monday.

Speaking with reporters at San Jose State’s Spartan Stadium where the Jaguars are practicing, Jones-Drew said McGrady should follow through and try out for the team.

“You’re more than welcome to come and sign a waiver and come to a live practice and see how it works out for you if it’s that easy,” Jones-Drew said.

Asked how many practices McGrady could make it through, Jones-Drew smiled.

“You never know,” Jones-Drew said. “He might be tougher than what most people think.”

Jones-Drew’s own health is in question this week.

He had taken a pitch and cut up the field when Woodson made a flying tackle after diving over Jacksonville left tackle Eugene Monroe midway through the second quarter last Sunday. Woodson appeared to grab Jones-Drew around his neck to make the tackle but no penalty was called.

“Not a dirty play,” said Jones-Drew, who limped off the field after the play and didn’t return. “It was a great play. For a guy at his age to kind of sell out to do that …. I thought it was a horse-collar but he made a phenomenal play.”

Jones-Drew said his foot got stuck in the turf.

The Jaguars had been hopeful of getting Jones-Drew on the field but pushed back plans to have him practice Wednesday after he woke up and noticed swelling in his injured foot.

Neither he nor coach Gus Bradley believe it’s a significant setback, however.

“The swelling’s come back down,” Jones-Drew said. “It’s still a little there but I should be back ready to go by (Thursday).”

Bradley agreed.

“They felt like it was doing pretty good and then he had some swelling that occurred,” Bradley said. “I know he feels better about it today than he did yesterday, so we’ll just see how it goes.”

Injured quarterback Blaine Gabbert is also making slow progress. Gabbert did some light throwing before practice but remains a longshot to play in Seattle.

Chad Henne, who started in place of Gabbert against Oakland last week, expects the crowd noise to be a factor in Seattle. To help, Bradley had music piped into Wednesday’s practice.

“At times (the music) can be just as loud but you can never know what you’re getting into unless it’s third down or it’s a key play in the game,” Henne said. “We just have to adjust to it and do the best we can.”

Notes: Tight end Marcedes Lewis (calf), cornerback Alan Ball (groin) and wide receiver Mike Brown (back) were held out of practice. … Offensive linemen Uche Nwaneri (knee) and Will Rackley (knee), wide receivers Ace Sanders (ribs) and Stephen Burton (hip), linebacker J.T. Thomas (hamstring), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee) were limited. … Defensive end Jason Babin and center Brad Meester were given the day off.

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