The return of the NFL is almost here, and the Jacksonville Jaguars and Las Vegas Raiders will be kicking off the season for the league on Thursday. While that’s only four days away, Jags coach Doug Pederson says he hasn’t set any parameters yet in terms of playing time, although he wants to be fair to the young players and give them a spotlight.
“It’s going to be exciting just to get the team on the field against another opponent obviously,” Pederson said Sunday. “And then for the first time for all of us with the coaches and new players and really the whole team. So we’re looking forward to that.
“I haven’t set any parameters yet on how much playing time people are going to get. [I want to try] to be fair [as possible]especially for the young guys. [I want to] try to get as many of the young guys in the game as I can, but I’ll make those determinations [later]. We still got a couple days left here to practice.”
Pederson has done a good job of taking it slow with the injured players and withholding them from practice as camp is in the early stages. That means there is plenty of time for the players who missed time during the first week to heal, as Thursday’s game will be one of four preseason games for Jacksonville.
Pederson’s understanding of not risking injury in the early part of the offseason could mean he will play it safe with his healthy starters, too. That could lead to a Thursday night game where very few starters take the field, but ultimately time will tell.
Participating in the Hall of Fame Game will give the Jags an extra game before the first wave of roster cuts are due by Aug. 16. On that date, they will have to trim the roster by five players. That said, this could be a huge opportunity for some bubble players looking to make a name for themselves.
It’s also unclear if the Raiders will play any of their starters, as well. When asked about his philosophy on playing starters in the preseason, their coach, Josh McDaniels, said his staff would be looking to make the decisions that “are best for the team.” That said, it sounds like we’ll have to wait for a clearer answer on their end, too, which may come in the next two days or so.
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Story originally appeared on Jaguars Wire