Jaguars Notebook: Team could be missing five starters on defense | jacksonville.com
The Jaguars had a side dish of injuries with their Thanksgiving Day feast. They learned that that they are likely to be missing five defensive starters for their game Sunday against the Houston Texans. They already knew that CB Rashean Mathis and LB Clint Session would miss the game because they are on the injured reserve list with a torn ACL and a concussion, respectively.
Jaguars defensive end Jeremy Mincey is the first to admit he has to bounce back this week. After having 2 1/2 sacks and forcing a fumble in the victory in Indianapolis, he was hoping for an encore when he played every snap in Cleveland while dueling the Browns’ outstanding tackle, Joe Thomas. He had a solid day with eight tackles, but only had one quarterback pressure in the team’s 14-10 loss.
Back in 2000, when Brad Meester became a Jaguar, gas cost $1.26 a gallon on average, a U.S. postage stamp was 33 cents and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" was the top-selling movie. The years have gone by quickly for Meester. Twelve seasons after the Jaguars drafted the center in the second round of the 2000 draft, Meester is about to become the franchise’s all-time leader in games played with 172, barring a surprise injury this week. He’ll break Jimmy Smith’s team record.
With the Jaguars’ defense, the Next Man Up thing now has an urgent feel. Mel Tucker, the Jaguars’ defensive coordinator, said on Thursday the team’s third-ranked defense can’t worry about a rash of recent injuries, nor can it worry about possibly not having five starters available against one of the NFL’s best offenses Sunday.
Uche Nwaneri never was remotely uncertain. Through the preseason, and through the early part of the regular season, when there were whispers and things louder than whispers criticizing the Jaguars’ offensive line, Nwaneri – the Jaguars’ veteran offensive guard – never gave any level of the noise much credence. There was no reason, Nwaneri said.
It’s no surprise that Blaine Gabbert has struggled this season…many fans wanted to see him sit the bench for most of, if not all of his rookie season. Unfortunately, David Garrard showed that he had regressed in preseason and was released, and Luke McCown simply was a worse player than Gabbert. There was no reason not to throw the rookie into the fire. The problem is, Gabbert has had little to nothing to work with.