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Jalen Ramsey returns, promises secondary will be ready for season opener

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jalen Ramsey spent his first day of practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars limited to individual work, but the team's 2016 first-round pick said there is no doubt that he'll be on the field with the rest of the starting secondary for the season opener.

"We're going to be ready for opening day,” Ramsey said. "I can't talk about day-to-day, but I'll let you know that we'll be ready for that. I'll promise you that.”

Ramsey underwent surgery to repair a core muscle injury (essentially a sports hernia) on June 15 and started training camp on the active/physically unable to perform list. He missed the team's first 13 practices and preseason opener against the New England Patriots last Thursday before being cleared Saturday morning.

Ramsey said wasn't sure when he suffered the injury, but he noticed it becoming progressively worse throughout organized team activities in the spring, and he missed the three-day minicamp. He said he could have tried to rehab the injury but instead opted for surgery.

"I feel like I have a high pain tolerance, so I was fighting through it for a while, trying to be out there for my teammates,” Ramsey said. "I probably made it a little bit worse, but I think I caught it pretty quickly.

"I had the option whether to do it [surgery] or not. The timing was just right. Why not do it, fix it completely, so it won't come back and linger around?”

This is the second time Ramsey has had offseason surgery. He missed all of organized team activities and minicamp in 2016 after he underwent surgery on his right knee to repair a small tear in his meniscus, an injury he suffered during Phase 2 of offseason conditioning.

He said he isn't discouraged by the latest injury and surgery.

"It's not frustrating,” Ramsey said. "Of course, I'd rather be playing, but it's all a process. It's a part of my growth as a football player. I have to get my body right. I don't look at it as a setback at all. I look at it as just me revamping my body, seeing my body better to be back out there and being a better [No.] 20 this year.”

The Jaguars drafted Ramsey fifth overall, and he started every game as a rookie, finishing with 65 tackles, 14 pass breakups, one forced fumble and two interceptions.

In addition to Ramsey, defensive end Calais Campbell (lower body), right tackle Jermey Parnell (undisclosed) and cornerback A.J. Bouye (undisclosed) returned to practice after missing the game against the Patriots. Wide receiver Allen Hurns also missed the game after being injured early last week in joint practices with the Patriots. He did not practice Saturday.