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Prince Amukamara proved he can stay healthy, wants to return to Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The biggest question about cornerback Prince Amukamara during free agency was whether the former first-round pick could stay healthy.

He had missed 25 games with various injuries in his five seasons with the New York Giants, including 13 over the 2014-15 seasons. That’s why the Jacksonville Jaguars gave him a one-year, prove-it contract. Amukamara seems to have done that.

Sunday’s season finale at Indianapolis will be his 14th game this season. He missed the first two with a hamstring injury but since then has been healthy.

"I’m going to play 14 out of the 16 games, and I think (that) was huge for me, and I think I’ve learned a lot from these coaches on the field," Amukamara said. "My stats, for sure, aren’t where I want them to be or I’m sure where any cornerback would want them to be. However, I still think selfishly I put some good stuff on film and done some good stuff.

"I think it was huge to just be able to show that I am durable and I can play this game if I’m healthy."

Amukamara has started 13 games and has 44 tackles and five pass breakups. He would have had an interception against Kansas City had teammate Tashaun Gipson not accidentally knocked the ball out of his hands.

Defensive coordinator Todd Wash said he has been pleased with the way Amukamara has played.

"We always knew he was a good football player," Wash said. "The last couple weeks he’s been attacked and he’s done very well of staying on top, eliminating explosive plays and only had two explosive plays last week against a very explosive offense. And they were going after Prince.

"He stayed healthy. He can show the organization he can stay healthy and play at a high level. It’ll be interesting to see what his career has in the future, but hopefully it’s as a Jaguar."

Amukamara signed a one-year contract worth $5.5 million with $3 million guaranteed. He said he would like to sign a multi-year deal to remain with the Jaguars, but there has been no movement on that yet. That’s not a surprise since the Jaguars are searching for a new head coach and want to wait on that hire so the new coach can have input on personnel decisions.

"Right now they front office priority is probably finding a head coach and stuff like that, but I would hope to be a priority to them [after the hire]," Amukamara said. "In this business there’s 31 other teams, and coaches look at film, so I would love for it to work out here. But if it doesn’t, I’m just happy to be able to play ball."