Blaine GabbertI will never be confused with an eternal optimist when it comes to professional sports and injuries.

I am not what you would call an “athlete,” however I have played enough sports over the years and been injured enough to draw my own conclusions about health, healing and when a player will and will not return to practice and playing time.

Unless you are Adrian Peterson or Robert Griffin III or some other freak of nature that you smash healing records, then think of the athlete like everyone else in their healing time table.

For Blaine Gabbert, that healing process is moving along, but the fractured thumb he suffered in the second game of the preseason may keep him out of the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.

This is the one thing I thought might happen as the season started. A fractured thumb or thumb injury should take longer than 22 days to heal.

For the record, I have a thumb injury and I am playing through the pain, but my recovery time is a lot longer.

On Monday, Gabbert began holding a football, squeezing it and throwing it in Jaguars practice. He admitted there was discomfort and pain, something he said he had to work through. He even went as far as to declare himself, “day to day” with the healing process and preparation for Sunday’s game.

According to Alfie Crow of bigcatcountry.com, the Jaguars have not officially updated Gabbert’s status for Sunday, yet.

The story also points out that Gabbert told the Florida Times-Union, "I'm going to go out there and do a little more than I did on Monday and see how it feels. It feels better and better each day. It's just a funny deal to stay on top of it and manage it."

It is also possible the Jaguars will not make a decision on who starts, whether it is Gabbert or backup Chad Henne until Sunday morning. That may be part of a plan to keep Kansas City and new head coach Andy Reid guessing.

“It very easily could [be Sunday],” Bradley said in a Hays Carlyon story. “We have some decisions to make. I know he feels better every day, so we’re going to have to get as much as time as we can to evaluate this.”

But, this being Thursday, the team is in full preparation for its Sunday opener, no matter who is behind center. And when asked by the media and as part of the Florida Times-Union story, Bradley admitted, “At times, he looked good and at times he looked like he had an injury.”

If Gabbert plays Sunday, pain will be an issue. If he starts and falters, Henne will be ready to step in - which could lead to a different kind of battle this team does not need to have hanging over its head.