NFL Teams
Michael DiRocco, ESPN Staff Writer 44d

Jaguars cancel practice with hurricane coming

NFL, Jacksonville Jaguars

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars canceled Wednesday's practice as Hurricane Dorian bears down on Florida and have made contingency plans for later in the week in case the storm forces more changes.

Coach Doug Marrone said Monday that ensuring the safety of players, coaches, staff and their families was his main concern, and the team is helping players and their families who live in evacuation zones find hotel rooms and board their pets.

"People who have been through this before know that things can change and you have to be ready," said Marrone, whose family is among those that have evacuated. "And we will be. There's been a lot of discussions about a lot of different things. I think the first thing was, the priority was, to make sure everyone's safe and have a plan and then once we know that everyone is safe and has a plan of what they're doing, then I think we'll just take things as they come."

If Hurricane Dorian holds its current track, the eye of the Category 4 storm will be roughly 40 miles offshore of Jacksonville overnight Tuesday and into early Wednesday morning. If Dorian's track were to shift west, the impact on the Jacksonville area would be significantly worse.

Parts of Jacksonville -- mainly along the coast, St. Johns River, and in flood-prone areas -- are under mandatory evacuation orders. The storm is forecast to be clear of the Jacksonville area by Wednesday night, and Marrone said the team plans to resume practice on Thursday.

"First and foremost our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone to make sure everyone's safe and everyone has a plan," Marrone said. " ... Hopefully, weather permitting and safety permitting, we'll bring the team back Thursday at noon. We feel good about our plans for the players and the safety for our players."

The Jaguars held Monday's practice at their indoor facility. Tuesday is the players' normal day off, so they'll only be losing one day of practice before their season opener against Kansas City on Sunday at TIAA Bank Field. Marrone said the Jaguars did a lot of game-planning for the Chiefs last week, so not practicing on Wednesday shouldn't affect their preparation.

"I don't look at it as we're going to lose a practice day," Marrone said. "We're going to be able to, as of right now if everything remains the same and the schedule [stays the same], we'll have our work in. I'm not concerned about that.

"... Most of the work is done, which is not to say, 'If there's ever a good time [for this to happen],' but obviously in the beginning you have a chance to have more done than obviously if something happened during the middle of a season."

The city has already removed loose objects, such as chairs and mobile device charging stations, from around the stadium. The stadium is located roughly 300 yards from the bank of the St. Johns River, and parts of the area around the stadium did flood when Hurricane Irma rolled up the middle of the state in September 2017.

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