JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without two starters for the rest of the preseason, maybe longer.
Coach Gus Bradley said Saturday that safety Johnathan Cyprien will be sidelined for at least the next three games with a broken finger on his right hand. The news came a few hours after Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas broke a bone in the back of his right hand in the preseason opener against Pittsburgh.
Bradley expects both to be ready for the season opener on Sept. 13 against Carolina.
''My gut feeling is that it looks pretty good,'' Bradley said a day after his team beat the Steelers 23-21. ''We trust our doctors and the information we're getting. The arrow's up that we should get them for the first game. I think that we'll know more in a couple weeks.''
Cyprien has a non-displaced fracture in his right index finger. He broke it early in the game, asked trainers to tape it up and kept playing. Tests afterward revealed the damage. He doesn't need surgery, was placed in a cast and will be able to practice in a ''controlled setting.''
Thomas has a stable fracture in the back of his right hand, near the middle finger. He broke it on Jacksonville's second play of the preseason, when he flipped and landed on his hand at the end of a 2-yard reception. He was placed in a cast and will be limited to participating in walkthroughs the next few weeks.
''You know, I'm pretty hopeful,'' Thomas said Saturday. ''I guess that's the best word. Right now it's just a healing situation, so hopefully it goes really well and I'm back before then and running around and feeling great. But we'll find out in a couple weeks when we take the cast off.''
Bradley said the injuries won't alter how he approaches the rest of the preseason, beginning next Saturday at the New York Giants.
''It's tough. It's always a delicate balance how much (playing time) do they get,'' Bradley said. ''Kind of freak things that take place, but we don't want to run scared or have that issue where let's only play them (only a few snaps) at the fear that someone could get hurt. We don't want that mindset. That's not who we are.
''It's the game of football. It's a physical game and things can happen like that.''
Bradley said Cyprien is more likely than Thomas to be ready for the opener because he's a defender and could play with a cast or splint; it would be tough for a pass-catching tight end to play with a hand wrapped.
Bradley also said defensive end Chris Clemons and safety James Sample are likely to be activated Monday.
Clemons, a 12-year veteran, has spent all of training camp on the non-football injury list while dealing with personal issues. Sample, a fourth-round draft pick, has spent camp on the physically unable to perform list with a broken forearm. Sample injured his arm trying to strip the ball from a teammate during organized team activities.
Clemons will practice in a limited capacity next week. Sample will be non-contact all week, but is expected to make his NFL debut against the Giants.
Also, defensive linemen Jared Odrick (knee) and Roy Miller (knee) are expected to return to practice and play against the Giants.
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