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Jaguars' Doug Pederson being cautious with Calvin Ridley in OTAs: 'Just want to be careful with him'

The Jacksonville Jaguars have big plans for Calvin Ridley in 2023, but after the wideout missed all of the 2022 campaign, the club is easing him back into offseason workouts.

The Jags held Ridley out of some OTA team sessions, but coach Doug Pederson said Tuesday that was just precautionary given the receiver hasn't played since early in the 2021 season. Pederson also noted that Ridley practices so hard, coaches want to pull back the reins consciously.

"A little bit," Pederson said when asked if the team was just trying to acclimate him to the system. "That and just want to be careful with him. He is coming off -- he hasn't played in a while, plus the injury. We're just trying to be careful with him. He's done an outstanding job for us. He's the type of guy that you have to kinda pump the brakes with. He wants to go so much and so fast and so hard out there at practice that we just kind of have to pump the brakes and just tell him now's not the time. But he's doing a great job. He's picking up the offense well. The times he's working with Trevor [Lawrence], they're on the same page, they're connecting, and those are good things to see right now in the offseason."

Ridley revealed earlier this offseason he played the 2020 season with a broken foot, but Pederson said the club isn't concerned about the lingering effects of the injury.

"No. No. Just more or less just being cautious with him," he said. "And really, just making sure that he's, again, he hasn't played a ton of football and just want to make sure he's ready to go for camp."

It's normal for teams to give players a ramp-up period during offseason workouts, particularly given Ridley's year-plus absence. Pederson said by the time camp arrives, the 28-year-old will be full-go.

"Oh, certainly. Yeah, certainly," he said. "Once the guys come back for camp -- now we have some exceptions, not necessarily Calvin, but we do have some exceptions to that rule. But yes, wheels are off."

Ridley brings a dynamic element to the Jags' offense, a go-to target who can beat coverages with stellar route running. Assuming the rust is knocked off by camp, the reigning AFC South champs should be ready to roll out a dynamic offense behind Lawrence come Week 1.

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