Just before Gus Bradley’s press conference this afternoon, the Jaguars announced that Luke Joeckel would be placed on injured reserve with a knee injury. Joeckel sustained the injury during Sunday’s game against the Colts in London.
Joeckel will have surgery on the knee, but it sounds as though his season might not be totally lost, with reports that he could be a candidate to return from injured reserve later in the year.
Joeckel (knee surgery) going to IR, not ruled out for year.— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) October 4, 2016
Every season, each NFL team can select one player to return from injured reserve. In the past, the team had to designate that player as such at the time of their being placed on the list. However, they can now just simply choose one player to return from IR whenever they are ready to return to the active roster.
The likely candidates to replace Joeckel in the meantime are Chris Reed and Patrick Omameh. Omameh replaced Joeckel in the game against the Colts, and seemed to hold his own. Reed solidified his roster spot after a strong preseason.
Obviously, the biggest concern is that Joeckel has a successful surgery and makes a full recovery, which he should. It could prove to be an unfortunate timed injury for the 4th year big man, as the team elected not to pick up his fifth-year option for next season. Joeckel has played well in his time at both guard and tackle this season, so hopefully he can return soon enough to prove that he belongs on this team moving forward.