Ross looks like opening-day starter for Jags

Aaron Ross is in line to start at left cornerback for the Jaguars on opening day at Minnesota, with Rashean Mathis as the nickel back, coach Mike Mularkey told the team’s press corps Monday.

But it’s not that Ross has won a battle between two veterans which was set up for the winner to start and the loser to play the nickel. Mularkey said Mathis, recovering from a torn ACL suffered in November, can still use more time.

“I would say that right now (Ross will start), because I think we’re still working on Rashean to get back to the level of play,” Mularkey said. “He’d tell you the same thing. He’s probably not a hundred percent yet but he’s working his way back to it. I think he can play. I am not sure he can play at the level he’s capable of playing right now.”

That means Mathis will line up in the slot against three-wide sets.

Starting right cornerback Derek Cox won’t play in the preseason finale and is in doubt for opening day with a lingering hamstring injury.

“I don’t know yet,” Mularkey said. “It’s iffy. Again, you’ve got two weeks almost. Thirteen days to make that decision, but if it was tomorrow that would be the way we go.”

Kevin Rutland or William Middleton would fill in.