NFL

Jags QB Gabbert back at practice

Blaine Gabbert
Blaine Gabbert returned to practice two days after spraining his ankle.
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP)

Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blaine Gabbert was in pads and at practice Wednesday, but still a day away from a full return.

Gabbert took limited snaps -- none in 11-on-11 drills -- while recovering from a sprained right ankle. Chad Henne got all the repetitions with the first-team offense, and Mike Kafka got second-team work.

Gabbert expects to be full-go Thursday "unless something magical pops up."

"It's doing a lot better," he said. "The biggest thing right now is just managing it and not doing anything too soon. But I'm feeling a lot better."

Gabbert injured his ankle late in practice Monday when guard Uche Nwaneri stepped on him during 11-on-11 drills. Gabbert slammed his helmet to the ground in frustration, before limping to the sideline. He was eventually carted to the locker room.

Tests were negative, and Gabbert took some snaps in a walkthrough later that night. Even with Tuesday off, though, the Jaguars decided to bring Gabbert back slowly.

"He came up to us and he felt like he was in good shape," coach Gus Bradley said. "He really wanted to go, so we came up with a plan to limit his reps. ... I know we were very cautious with his reps and which period he was going to get the reps, but he said that it felt pretty good."

This is the latest injury in Gabbert's three years in the NFL. He played with a nagging toe injury as a rookie in 2011 and missed the final six games last season with a right forearm injury. He also had a torn labrum in his left, non-throwing shoulder.

He was thankful this one was minor.

"It was a freak play," Gabbert said. "It was a matter of a couple inches. It happens in the game and you just have to kind of manage it right now. Luckily it happened in practice 4, so we don't really have much to worry about."

With Gabbert out, Henne completed 11 of 19 passes in team drills. Kafka completed 10 of 14 passes. Rookie Matt Scott misfired on four of his five attempts.

"Kafka is doing a good job," Bradley said. "It's really his first or second time seeing it. ... We need to get him some reps. He'll get his opportunity, but the challenge for him is to take advantage of it just like he has today."

Bradley said a couple of injured players could be back on the file early next week -- receiver Justin Blackmon (groin) and safety Johnathan Cyprien (hamstring).

Blackmon is on the physically unable to perform list following surgery. Cyprien, the team's second-round draft pick, is on the non-football injury list after tweaking his hamstring while working out two weeks ago.

Tagged: Jaguars, Mike Kafka, Blaine Gabbert

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