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Leftwich Likely Starter in Playoffs (1 Viewer)


Leftwich likely starter1/1/06By Vic Ketchman, jaguars.com senior editor All indications are Byron Leftwich will be the Jaguars' starting quarterback in New England on Saturday. Coach Jack Del Rio said in his postgame press conference on Sunday that Leftwich will be the starter if he's physically able to play and Del Rio added that he expects that will be the case.“If Byron doesn't have any setbacks, he's our starting quarterback. It is just a matter of him continuing to progress like he did last week. He got a lot better last week as the week went on. On Friday he was almost full tilt,” Del Rio told reporters following the Jaguars' regular season finale on Sunday, a 40-13 win over the Tennessee Titans at Alltel Stadium.New England's loss to Miami earlier in the day left the Jaguars, 12-4, to meet the defending Super Bowl champions in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. on Saturday in New England.Leftwich's continued recovery from a broken ankle he sustained on Nov. 27 will be the big story in the NFL this week. His progress will be intensely scrutinized and Del Rio will no doubt be second-guessed by media and fans who will claim that five weeks of inactivity will put Leftwich at a competitive disadvantage. Del Rio's decision to play Leftwich, if he's physically able, re-affirms Leftwich's status as the Jaguars' starting quarterback and Del Rio's confidence in him.“He was cleared (medically),” Del Rio said of Leftwich's playing status for Sunday's game against the Titans. Leftwich did not play, however, as David Garrard made his fifth consecutive start, having led the Jaguars to a 4-1 record in those five games.“It was my decision. He really wanted to play. It's my responsibility to this organization. I didn't want to expose him to a situation in which he could've re-injured himself,” Del Rio said.

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