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Mularkey expects Gabbert to start Sunday

Quarterback Blaine Gabbert is expected to be ready to play for the Jaguars in Indianapolis on Sunday after being injured in the Houston game.

Gabbert suffered an injury to his gluteus maximus muscle Sunday and will be limited in practice Wednesday, coach Mike Mularkey said. Mularkey said he anticipates Gabbert being able to play in Indianapolis, but the Jaguars will have to wait and see how he reacts to being back on the field before they'll know for sure if he will be ready.

An MRI revealed the injury to the glute according to Mularkey, who speculated Sunday it might be a hamstring injury. Gabbert suffered the injury while being sacked by J.J. Watt early in the fourth quarter. He stayed in for two more plays before he came out after the Jaguars punted.

"I think it's going to be something that's going to get better each day. He'll be stiff and he will loosen up each day," Mularkey said.

If he doesn't get well, backup Chad Henne will get his first start as a Jaguar.

If Gabbert can play, he'll have to bounce back from his worst statistical day of his first 16 starts as he completed only 7 of 19 passes for 53 yards against the Houston Texans Sunday in a 27-7 loss.

In Gabbert's defense, Mularkey pointed out how young he still is.

"Again, this is his 16th start in the National Football League as a 22-year-old man and he's going to have some learning curves every week, especially to have some consistent success. He's still a young quarterback in the NFL," Mularkey said.

Still, the Jaguars had the worst offense in the league last year with Gabbert at quarterback for 14 games and they are again worst in the league after two games this season.

Mularkey stressed the season is only two games in.

"It's really one game (against Houston) that put us there," he said. The Jaguars were limited to 117 yards of offense by Houston and plunged from 16th to 32nd in the offensive yardage rankings.

Mularkey knew what he was getting into because he was the Atlanta offensive coordinator last December when the Falcons routed the Jaguars 41-14.

"This is what I love about coaching," he said. "This is exactly why I do the job because I take it as a challenge. I think we all do. This whole staff takes it as a real challenge. This is why I love to do what I do. Because I think we will win."

-- The Sports Xchange

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