Jaguars Game Snapshot
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 p.m. ET
TV: CBS, Gus Johnson, Steve Tasker
PREDICTION: Jaguars 27-17
KEYS TO THE GAME: The Bills cleared the way for scintillating rookie RB C.J. Spiller to take on a prominent role by dealing starter Marshawn Lynch to Seattle. The Bills don't want him carrying the ball 20 times, and Fred Jackson will get plenty of work, but will attempt to isolate Spiller on linebackers on quick-hitting passes designed to get him in the open field. Jacksonville hasn't had consistency out of QB David Garrard or its offensive line, but can get both into a comfort zone by handing the ball to RB Maurice Jones-Drew. The Bills have allowed 473 rushing yards in the past two games. Shoring up that leaky defense requires better tackling at the second level.
FAST FACTS: The Bills rank last in the NFL in total offense (237.3 yards per game) and passing offense (131.8). ... The Jaguars have lost six of their past seven road games.
INSIDE THE CAMPS
The Jaguars drafted Deji Karim with their first of two sixth-round picks to add another dimension to their kick return game. He averaged 30.9 yards a kick return in his senior year at Southern Illinois, returning 14 for 422 yards, including an 82-yarder. But Karim suffered a thumb injury in the second preseason game and has missed the last six weeks. Now he's ready to return, and with running back Rashad Jennings limited in practice with a shoulder injury this week, the Jaguars are likely to make Karim active. He is trying not to get too excited about finally getting a chance in Buffalo.
"When I do think about the game, it's, 'Wow, it's about to happen.' But I'm keeping myself on an even keel," he said.
The Jaguars also want to see him return kicks to determine if he will be as good as they projected. Tiquan Underwood has done a solid job of filling in for him as a kick returner. He is 11th in the league with a 24.8-yard average. His longest is 53 yards. The Jaguars also drafted Scotty McGee to be the punt returner, but he's on injured reserve. Mike Thomas is sixth in the league with an 11.0-yard average, including a 39-yarder.
Bills general manager Buddy Nix said trading running back Marshawn Lynch at this stage of the season seemed to him more prudent than doing it back in April before the NFL Draft. Lynch, the subject of trade rumors for six months, was finally dealt to Seattle this week for a 2011 fourth-round pick and a conditional pick in 2012. A deal probably could've been struck last April or at any time during the offseason. But this way the Bills had the services of Lynch all training camp and into the regular season.
"I don't understand what good it does to go through the summer or preseason with a draft pick in your pocket that you can't use until (next) April," Nix said. "It's the same draft pick. It's in our pocket now and we (still) can't use it until April."
Nix addressed the media Thursday and addressed several topics, including his team's disappointing 0-4 record heading into Sunday's home game against Jacksonville.
When Fred Jackson and Lynch went down with injuries in the first preseason game, it made having three backs (first-round pick C.J. Spiller being the third) a comforting situation. With all three healthy and the team struggling to give each an adequate amount of work, the time had come to deal one of them, Nix said.
"We decided it was time," Nix said. "There's no need for me trying to say we would've been better off to have done it then or now or whatever."
On cutting starting quarterback Trent Edwards: "We wanted to see for ourselves what Trent could do. We knew he had ability. He's willing. He's intelligent. ... We got into the regular season and it didn't work out. We decided (he) wasn't the answer so we decided to make the change."
On a contract extension for Chris Kelsay: "You don't want to take your core guys and leaders out of your system. We've got four, five, six guys like that -- maybe not great players -- but good players that set the tone for what you want everybody else to be. Chris Kelsay is a good player. He exemplifies what we want players to do and want them to be, so that's the reason he's here."
On being winless: "I'm frustrated just like the fans and everybody else is. We didn't expect to be here, but we've got to deal with it. We didn't get in this situation overnight and we're not going to get out of it overnight. We knew it wouldn't be easy. If there were not the problems we've got, I wouldn't be here and Chan (Gailey) wouldn't be here. It's our job to change that."
In other news, the Bills-Jaguars game will be blacked out locally, the first blackout in 26 games.
--RB Maurice Jones-Drew returned to full practice Thursday after sitting out Wednesday with an ankle injury. The Jaguars like to rest Jones-Drew on Wednesdays, so it wasn't a surprise that he returned because the ankle injury seems to be a minor one.
--S Sean Considine (hamstring) was limited in practice for the second consecutive day Thursday and probably won't play in Buffalo. Gerald Alexander replaced him last week and will likely stay in the starting lineup.
--OG Justin Smiley (ankle) remained limited Thursday for the second consecutive day and his status is uncertain for the game. Vince Manuwai will start if he can't go.
--RB Rashad Jennings (shoulder) remained limited Thursday for the second consecutive day and he may not play. Deji Karim will likely replace him on the active roster.
--LB Justin Durant (ankle) didn't practice after being limited Wednesday and probably won't play after sitting out last week. Russell Allen will again start in his place.
--QB Ryan Fitzpatrick almost threw for 300 yards in a loss to the Jaguars last year, hitting the 297 mark with one TD, a 98-yard score to Terrell Owens. But he also threw two interceptions in an 18-15 defeat.
--RB Fred Jackson will start Sunday's home game against Jacksonville. Jackson was held to 35 yards on nine carries in an 18-15 loss to the Jaguars a year ago, but did add four catches for 20.
--WR Lee Evans, held to one catch last week against the Jets, is looking to get on track Sunday against Jacksonville. The Jaguars are allowing a whopping 303.8 yards passing per game.
--DE Marcus Stroud, who missed last week with an ankle injury, practiced for a second day and appears on course to playing Sunday against Jacksonville.
--LB Andra Davis, who is nursing a shoulder problem that has bothered him all season, practiced for a second day and will try and play Sunday against Jacksonville. The Bills, struggling in run defense, would welcome his return against RB Maurice Jones-Drew.
--CB Ashton Youboty practiced after missing Wednesday but remains limited in what he can do. He suffered a hamstring injury in last week's loss to the Jets and remains questionable for this week.
--LB Keith Ellison, a key reserve, remains sidelined with a knee injury. Coach Chan Gailey indicated he could miss a game or two.
--SS Bryan Scott, who is nursing a knee injury, did not practice for a second day and appears doubtful for Sunday's game against Jacksonville. Scott plays a lot of nickel coverage and his absence would be felt.
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