The Jacksonville Jaguars head to New York on Thursday for their first preseason game of the 2016 NFL season against the New York Jets. For the most part, the Jaguars are pretty healthy coming out of training camp, but one area where there is some concern is on the left side of the offensive line. Really, Three-fifths of the offensive line is "dinged", so to speak.
The team announced on Tuesday after practice that offensive tackle Josh Wells would need surgery on his thumb, which will keep him out for a while. If that sounds familiar it's because Wells had the same injury last season that landed him on injured reserve, but on the other hand. Wells had been playing in place for Kelvin Beachum, who's not quite ready yet for contact, let alone a game. Then you had Brandon Linder pick up a minor groin injury that might see him sat on Thursday, just as a pure precautionary measure. This means that you're either kicking Joeckel back to left tackle or having your third team left tackle, which according to the depth chart is Jeff Linkenbach or Rashod Hill.
So, what exactly am I getting at?
Don't even bother playing Bortles on Thursday unless the plan is for him to hand the ball off three straight times then come to the bench.
There is going to be so much shuffle at the majority of the offensive line and you're going up against a good defensive line, it's too risky at this point. The Jaguars absolutely cannot afford an injury to Blake Bortles and with the state of the left side of the line heading into the game, it's too much of a risk for him to drop back to pass multiple times, given how much pressure he's been under in practice and the scrimmage.
Now, he's very likely going to play and get hit, but in all honesty he doesn't really need to play on Thursday and probably shouldn't.