Stroud's Return

Defensive tackle Marcus Stroud will return to the practice field Wednesday for a team that needs a boost on defense.

Stroud missed the last four games after being suspended for steroid use and the Jaguars went 3-1 without him.

But the last game he played in and the last game he missed due to suspension showed the Jaguars need help with their pass defense against good quarterbacks.

They lost to New Orleans in his last game when Drew Brees passed for 455 yards and they were torched for four touchdown passes by Peyton Manning Sunday in the last game he missed.

It remains to be seen whether Stroud will make much of a difference because he's coming back from microfracture surgery on his ankle and hasn't been the dominating player he was before he was injured.

The Jaguars should have little trouble against the Carolina Panthers and Vinny Testaverde Sunday, but in two weeks they face Pittsburgh's Ben Roethlisberger.

Whether they can stop a good quarterback is a major question mark, but coach Jack Del Rio remains upbeat.

"We've played good defense with the personnel we have," said Del Rio. "We've got to do things better. We'll coach through that. That'll be something as we go through December and -- if we earn it, beyond -- that's going to be an area that we need to be better in."

Their defense has been good enough against the Joey Harringtons and Damon Huards.

Not so good against quarterbacks like Manning and Brees.

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