Jake Roth-US PRESSWIRE
The Jacksonville Jaguars will likely be without their starting quarterback and star running back for a while, so where does the team go from here?
The Jacksonville Jaguars fear that Maurice Jones-Drew could have a lisfranc injury, which could potentially sideline him for the season, and quarterback Blaine Gabbert reportedly has a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder which could require surgery.
It was already bad for the Jaguars, sitting at 1-5 with a road trip against the Green Bay Packers on the horizon.
The Jaguars offense is one of the worst in the NFL with Gabbert and Jones-Drew on the field, but it could possibly get worse with Chad Henne starting and Jones-Drew out for an extended period of time. Rashad Jennings is a starting caliber running back, but he's not Jones-Drew and can be stopped.
So the question is, where do the Jaguars go from here?
The team is staring 1-6 in the face and weren't really in the playoff hunt anyway, but you needed to remainder of the season for talent evaluation, especially if Gene Smith is to be fired at the end of the season. You want to evaluate the talent you have and determine who you should keep. Not only that, but you needed the final 10 games of the season to be totally sure on Blaine Gabbert, which would give you around 30 starts of eval.
If Gabbert needs invasive surgery on his shoulder, it could mean he's out for a while and possibly the entire season. You're then left wondering how much he would have improved during the remainder of the season. With Gabbert out, the team will likely sign a new quarterback, be it Jordan Palmer due to familiarity with the offense/scheme or someone completely new who can learn on the fly and come in if Henne is completely ineffective.
At the running back position the team will likely sign someone for depth if Jones-Drew is out longterm and due to the injury to Montell Owens. That leaves just Jennings, Greg Jones, and Jalen Parmele as backs on the roster.
If you're worried about all these injuries saving Gene Smith's job, you shouldn't be. The lack of depth on the team, especially Chad Henne, is just a further indictment of Gene Smith's job. Henne was someone the team made sure to target in free agency and secure. If he continues to be totally inept, it's just another in the long list of failures during Smith's tenure as general manager.
It's going to be long road going forward for the Jaguars, especially if the injuries are what's feared. The only thing the Jaguars can do is grin and bear it, and evaluate the roster they have and look forward.