JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Jacksonville quarterback Byron Leftwich says his mending left ankle is getting better. Leftwich broke the ankle Nov. 27 against Arizona and has been out since. He practiced Wednesday and Thursday and said he hopes to be ready when the Jaguars open the playoffs Jan. 7 or 8.
His status for Sunday's final regular-season game with Tennessee remains a question.
"I was a little rusty on Wednesday, but came back strong today," he said Thursday. "My timing and accuracy is headed in the right direction."
He still had some ankle soreness but "at this stage of the season, you're always going to have soreness. I even have soreness in my right ankle. I'm just glad I went through a whole practice with no setback."
Leftwich had passed for 2,123 yards with a 57.9 completion percentage with 15 touchdowns and five interceptions.
During his absence, backup David Garrard guided the Jaguars to three wins in four games.
Garrard and Leftwich split the snaps during Thursday's practice.
Leftwich got an endorsement from Jimmy Smith, the team's leading receiver.
"He looks rested. He was bouncing around out there. As bad as it was for him to have the injury, it may turn out to be a good thing as he's rested and looking sharp," Smith said.
Jags' Leftwich will be gametime decisionIn QB's absense, backup Garrard guided Jacksonville to 3 wins in 4 gamesThe Associated PressUpdated: 3:24 p.m. ET Dec. 30, 2005JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Jacksonville Jaguars will wait until gametime Sunday before deciding whether quarterback Byron Leftwich will return to the lineup against the Tennessee Titans.Leftwich, out since breaking his left ankle Nov. 27, returned to practice this week.“Byron has progressed well during the week and was a little better each day,” coach Jack Del Rio said Friday. “But I’m not going to declare whether he’ll play until I have to.”During Leftwich’s absence, backup David Garrard guided the Jaguars to three wins in four games and the team clinched the No. 5 seed in the AFC playoffs. Leftwich says he wants to play.“It was another good day, actually it was a great day,” he said. “I’m ready to play. I really do believe that if we had to win this game on Sunday to get in, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.The Jaguars will open the playoffs either Jan. 7 or 8 at Cincinnati or New England.Del Rio said because the team can’t improve its playoff position, several starters will only see limited action.“We want to win any game we compete in. But at the same time, we will hold out some guys and rest some guys and try to get them healed up for next week’s playoff game,” he said. “We’ll be smart about how much we play certain people. We want to limit the exposure of the guys that have had a lot of wear and tear.”
I'm starting Leftwich and sitting Jimmy Smith at a flex position. Leftwich needs the reps otherwise he is useless in the playoffs. They play a weak TEN secondary, I figure 100 yds and a TD before he gets pulled for Garrard.Jimmy Smith got downgraded from probable to questionable Thursday, any smart coach is going to sit him in a meaningless game.