Dante Fowler is ready to press forward in what could be his final year in Jacksonville.
The pass rusher was taken off the physically unable to perform list Saturday, the team announced. Fowler missed the offseason program, 11 training camp practices, and the Jags preseason opener with a shoulder injury.
"I'm just happy to see him back to start playing," Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said before practice on Saturday, via First Coast News. "Obviously, he's worked hard to get back, strengthening and everything, and we'll return him to practice. He'll come back out and we'll work him there. I'm excited to see him. He's put in a lot of work and we'll see him on the field and see what he can do."
Fowler reportedly lost muscle mass during his rehab, so getting back to the field is paramount for the 24-year-old.
The pass rusher will miss the open game of the Jags' season while serving a suspension stemming from a July 2017 arrest.
Entering the final year of his rookie deal after Jacksonville declined the fifth-year option on the former No. 3 overall pick, Fowler needs a big season to cash in. After missing his entire rookie campaign due to injury, Fowler increased his production the past two campaigns, earning eight sacks last season in a rotational role.
Given Jacksonville's stocked defensive line, which includes rising start Yannick Ngakoue, Fowler's path to a starting gig and a ton of playing time is currently blocked. He'll need to show out the rest of preseason, and when he returns from suspension, to warrant more playing time.
With the dearth of pass rushers that hit the open market, Fowler could find several buyers if he proves healthy and productive in 2018. First, he must stay on the field. That goal starts on Saturday.