Terrance Knighton Knows Injury Hurt Contract Chances

NASHVILLE TN - DECEMBER 05: Terrance Knighton #96 of the Jacksonville Jaguars dances back to the sideline after a turnover by the Tennessee Titans during the first half at LP Field on December 5 2010 in Nashville Tennessee. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Terrance Knighton is on track for recovery and hoping to be ready by the time the team starts training camp. The former third-round pick is also in the final season of his contract, but the injury sustained to his eye could put a big damper on a contract year and Knighton knows it.

"I think about that all the time," Knighton said after practice on Wednesday. "I just try to put that behind me and focus on the season, my work this offseason and my play this season to earn the contract, instead of think about, 'If I wasn't doing that, I could have had this.' It will come. I won't rush it."

When Knighton is on his game, he's one of the more dominant defensive tackles in the NFL. The problem however is you have to use the word "when" there. He's come into camp overweight virtually every season in the NFL and his play has seemed to taper off late in the season. Part of that is a lack of depth at the defensive tackle position, but part of it is just his body wearing down from having to put in so much work to get into playing shape before the season.

It's going to be a critical season for Knighton's career in 2012.

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