PHILADELPHIA - Former Eagles defensive end Jason Babin showed up for his first practice with the Jacksonville Jaguars on Thursday wearing No. 58.
He did not explain the reasoning behind switching from No. 93, but it's probably not a coincidence that he now wears the same number as Eagles defensive end Trent Cole.
Babin was at Cole's house Tuesday when coach Andy Reid called to tell him he had been released. Eight teams put in waiver claims for Babin. He was awarded to the Jaguars because they have the worst record (2-9) of the group.
"I'm still waiting for somebody to pinch me," Babin told the Florida Times-Union. "It's been a wild few days."
Babin had posted sacks in back-to-back games with the Eagles and led the team with 5½ this season, but was well below his output from 2011 when he made the Pro Bowl with 18 sacks.
He'll be counted on to bolster a sad-sack Jaguars pass rush that has produced only 13 sacks this season, tied for last in the NFL with Oakland.
"It's a good pickup, obviously," Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey told the Times-Union. "(Babin) has had a lot of success over the last three years and we could use some help in that area and get some pressure on the quarterback. I've watched enough tape of him to know he's a very relentless, disruptive player who plays to the whistle on every play."
When the Eagles released Babin, Reid explained that he made the move in order to give more playing time to younger defensive ends such as Vinny Curry, Brandon Graham and Phillip Hunt. At 3-8, they have virtually no chance of making the playoffs.
The Jaguars have no chance at the playoffs, but decided to take a different approach.
"We've got five games to go and we're trying to win these games," Mularkey said. "It's a sign we're showing our team we're trying to win right now and this is not a 'play the young guys and do the evaluating' (situation). We're trying to win and do whatever we can to improve our roster."
Bumps and bruises
Center Dallas Reynolds (sprained ankle) did not practice Thursday and is likely to miss the game. Guard Evan Mathis is expected to start at center while Danny Watkins will take over for Mathis at left guard.
Mathis has never played center in a regular-season game and last played in preseason game in 2010 while with Cincinnati. However, he has taken reps at center in practice throughout the season.
"We have excellent confidence in Evan," Mornhinweg said. "First of all, he's a really good player. Second of all, he's a sharp man."
Defensive tackle Fletcher Cox also missed practice due to a death in the family, but is expected to play Sunday.
Running back Chris Polk (sprained toe) likely will miss his fourth straight game.
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