T.J. Yeldon to make preseason debut Friday

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaguars rookie running back T.J. Yeldon had to wait an additional two weeks, but he's finally scheduled to make his NFL debut Friday in Jacksonville's preseason game against Detroit.

Jaguars coach Gus Bradley said Yeldon will still have a splint on the sprained finger on his left hand, but will no longer wear a non-contact vest and will get reps with the first- and second-team offenses in practice this week.

The Jaguars drafted Yeldon 36th overall after a three-year career at Alabama in which he rushed for 3,322 yards and 37 touchdowns. He was expected to become the starter but had been working mostly with the second- and third-team offense in OTAs and minicamp. He had gotten some first-team reps in training camp before getting injured.

The Jaguars have said their plan was to bring Yeldon along slowly because they didn't want to overload the rookie and have him rotate carries with Denard Robinson and Toby Gerhart early in the season.

The 6-foot-1, 226-pound Yeldon injured his left hand during a scrimmage on Aug. 8 and has spent the past two weeks limited to non-contact work in practice. He missed the Jaguars' preseason games against Pittsburgh and the New York Giants.

Another key player will also make his preseason debut against the Lions. Defensive end Chris Clemons, who reported to training camp a day late and was placed on the active/non-football injury list until Aug. 17, is scheduled to practice fully this week and is expected to play Friday.