The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update


September 25, 2013

Bradley laying new foundation for Jaguars


The Colts (2-1) are tied with Houston and Tennessee for the division lead, but Jacksonville had a major impact on Indianapolis' title hopes in 2012.

Blaine Gabbert's 80-yard touchdown pass to Cecil Shorts III late in the fourth quarter of a Week 3 contest at Lucas Oil Stadium gave the Jaguars a 22-17 victory. It was one of just two wins for Jacksonville on the season and proved to be the difference between the Colts winning the AFC South and opening the playoffs as a wild-card team on the road.

Gabbert, who injured his thumb during the preseason and worsened it during the season opener against Kansas City, will make just his second start of the year on Sunday.

"We have had a slow start, but at the same time this is our first division game, and division games are the ones that count," Gabbert said. "They're the ones that really matter. We're playing a great football team, and we know we got to prepare better than we have before so we're able to execute on Sunday."

Shorts again is likely to be a big part of the game plan.

He had a breakout season in 2012 with 55 catches for 979 yards and seven scores. And he's built on that foundation through three games this year. Shorts is third in the AFC with 276 receiving yards and is averaging 14.5 yards per catch.

"He's been doing a great job, and you saw that coming with Cecil," Gabbert said. "He's worked his tail off all offseason, throughout the OTAs and minicamps, through training camp and the preseason, to put himself in that position. So he's been doing a wonderful job, and we just have to find ways to get him the football."

The game-winner was Shorts' only catch against the Colts in Week 3. But he was one of the few Jaguars who shined in the rematch six weeks later, won 27-10 by Indianapolis at EverBank Field. Shorts had six catches for 105 yards and Jacksonville's lone touchdown in that game, and he's coming off a strong performance with eight catches for 143 yards in last week's 45-17 loss to Seattle.

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