Lewis on track to play Sunday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It appears that Jaguars tight end Marcedes Lewis will be back in the lineup on Sunday.

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said Lewis was a limited participant in Wednesday’s practice but will play against the Chargers if he continues to improve. Lewis has only been on the field for two snaps this season because of a calf injury.

"He did good," Bradley said. "We really tried to keep him at two out of four reps and really watched him gain confidence in it [his calf]."

The 6-foot-6, 272-pound Lewis has been battling a calf injury, which he originally suffered during warm-ups prior to the second preseason game. He aggravated the injury before the season opener and missed the first three games of the season. He returned to the lineup against Indianapolis on Sept. 29 but lasted just two plays.

Lewis has caught 272 passes for 3,224 yards and 21 touchdowns in the first six years of his career but his work as a blocker, however, is just as significant. He is regarded as one of the league’s best blocking tight ends and was an integral part of the success that Maurice Jones-Drew had in 2011, when he led the league with 1,606 yards rushing.

The Jaguars have struggled to run the ball this season, ranking last in yards per game (60.5) and last in yards per attempt (2.6). Jones-Drew has gained only 279 yards and is averaging 2.9 yards per carry.

Bradley said receiver Cecil Shorts (sprained SC joint), the team’s leading receiver with 31 catches for 411 yards, did not practice and his status for Sunday is still uncertain.

"Cecil showed signs of improvement," Bradley said. "He did not go through practice but his range of motion and comfort level is better. The swelling’s gone down. That was a good sign."

Bradley also said receiver Justin Blackmon (hamstring/groin) was held out of practice Wednesday but will practice on a limited basis on Thursday and he is on pace to play.

Receiver Ace Sanders (concussion), defensive tackle Roy Miller (knee), defensive end Jeremy Mincey (concussion), receiver Stephen Burton (concussion), and safety Johnathan Cyprien (calf) also missed practice with injuries. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew, center Brad Meester, and defensive end Jason Babin were given the day off.

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert (hamstring), running back Jordan Todman (thigh), linebacker Russell Allen (ribs), cornerback Dwayne Gratz (ankle) and defensive end Andre Branch (knee) were limited.