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Whirlwind week for Nic Jacobs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Four days ago, Nic Jacobs was enjoying a day off as a practice squad player with the New Orleans Saints.

He may end up in the Jacksonville Jaguars' starting lineup on Sunday.

The Jaguars are missing two tight ends -- Marcedes Lewis is out with a high ankle sprain and Mickey Shuler hasn’t practiced all week because of an illness -- so Jacobs is going to have a key role in Sunday’s game at San Diego.

"When I signed I expected to be on the active roster and I expected to be playing on game day, but I didn’t expect to be possibly starting," Jacobs said. "My mindset was I was going to come here [and] maybe first week do some special teams and learn the offense and gradually come in [on offense]. From the looks of it they needed me right then and now. I had to step up and learn the offense."

The 6-foot-3, 269-pound Jacobs was a blocking tight end in college in two years at LSU and one at McNeese State, though he did catch 32 passes for 453 yards and 13 touchdowns in his only season for the Cowboys. He signed with the Saints as an undrafted free agent and was among those waived in final cuts, but the team re-signed him to the practice squad.

Jacobs won’t be expected to do much in the passing game this week, though he may be forced into more action there than anticipated if Clay Harbor has any kind of setback on Sunday. Harbor returned to practice this week on a full-time basis for the first time since he suffered a calf injury on July 28. He’s going to make his season debut against the Chargers, but there’s concern about his conditioning level and if there will be any problem with the calf during full-contact work.

Harbor is best used as a flex tight end, though, so a lot of the tight end blocking duties will fall to Jacobs. The Jaguars also have used offensive tackle Josh Wells as an additional tight end to help run block.

Jacobs said his crash course on the offense has gone well.

"I’m picking up the offense way better than I expected to," he said. "The coaches are doing real well in preparing me and dumbing it down for me and helping me learn the offense and learn the schemes and everything. I really feel confident going into the game that I know what I’m supposed to do."

Since the Jaguars signed Jacobs off the Saints’ practice squad he has to be on the active roster for three weeks, which will give him an additional two weeks to audition for a permanent spot.

"It’s a whirlwind week but I’ll say it’s an opportunity of a lifetime," he said.