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Jaguars easing rusty WR Calvin Ridley back into action


JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jaguars are taking it easy with receiver Calvin Ridley in his return to football.

Head coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday he’s limiting Ridley’s reps in some drills and team work throughout organized team activities and the upcoming mandatory minicamp but will clear Ridley for full participation once training camp begins.

“He hasn’t played in a while plus the injury [broken foot in 2021], so we’re just trying to be careful with him,” Pederson said. “He’s the type of guy that you have to pump the brakes with. He wants to go so much and so fast and so hard out there at practice that we just have to pump the brakes and just tell him, ‘Hey, now now’s not the time.’

“But he’s doing a great job. He’s picking up the offense well. The times that he’s working with Trevor [Lawrence] on the same page they’re connecting, and those are good things to see right now in the offseason.”

Ridley said Tuesday he understands the approach but admitted it’s hard for him to take some reps off.

“I only really know one speed, but I got to gradually get my body back to football, like football and be peaking into the season, not out here [in OTAs],” he said. “Of course I expected I would be a little rusty because you can’t really get ready for this. I mean the heat, the helmet. Just running every day is what it really is because you get sore. I’ve got to make sure I build and not be sore in the season.”

Ridley hasn’t played in an NFL game since Oct. 24, 2021, when he was with the Atlanta Falcons. In March 2022, he was suspended for all of last season after an investigation found that he bet on NFL games over a five-day stretch in November 2021.

Ridley, who was acquired by the Jaguars from the Falcons at last season’s trading deadline, was reinstated March 6.

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