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Did the Jaguars botch preseason playing time?

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Jim Steve-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars made some interesting choices during the preseason for 2016. The first bizarre thing was not giving Luke Joeckel reps at left guard outside of a single game in limited action, even sitting him completely for the fourth preseason game. The team also chose to not use punter Brad Nortman and kicker Jason Myers in the third preseason game, opting to give the backups a chance to get live game action and things on film. The team also seemed to be experimenting quote a bit on their defensive front and packages in the third preseason game.

None of that is necessary bad or wrong, but the method in which the Jaguars chose to do so is... bizarre. I don't know if skipping a game made Jason Myers miss two long field goals on Thursday night against the Atlanta Falcons, but it makes you wonder. It would have been just as easy to give those backups, who it was clear you weren't considering keeping, film in the first two games and then work Myers back in. He's got enough issues with extra points that we don't need more stuff tacked on,  given how shaky he's been in the preseason and in training camp.

I wrote about the Luke Joekcel thing earlier in the week, that it seemed pretty shortsighted to not at least play him just a tad in the final preseason game. He's transitioning to a new position and his first go at it shows he clearly needs some time to adjust to playing guard, and reps can only help him. Sure, the team has to be mindful of injuries, but you can't be that afraid of injury that it's both a detriment to the player and the team.

The same can be said for the decision to not play both Dante Fowler Jr. and Yannick Ngakoue. Those two are, for all intents and purposes, rookies and they're going to be your primary LEO end pass rushers. Ngakoue has shown a little bit in his limited snaps in the preseason, but Fowler has been fairly anonymous, which isn't all that surprising. Fowler missed an entire year of football and he's adjusting to the NFL speed. Both players should have played some snaps in Thursday's game against the Falcons, because frankly both need it. Again, you can't be that fearful of injury.

I'm not really going to get into the issues of the team "trying things out" in the third preseason game, which is supposed to be the game planning/dress rehearsal. Doing wacky things like trying out Paul Posluszny at weakside linebacker and Telvin Smith on the strongside in key packages is stuff you do in Weeks 1 and 2, not when it's supposed to simulate a game.

Ultimately, these things aren't going to doom the Jaguars this season, but they sure did suck a lot of wind out of their own sails with some of the decisions they made in Weeks 3 and 4 of the preseason.