The Jacksonville Jaguars have been relatively lucky with injuries so far in the 2017 season, with only Allen Robinson suffering a major injury and hitting injured reserve. The team was without rookie sensation Leonard Fournette against the Indianapolis Colts two weeks ago, as the team didn’t feel he was back enough from an ankle injury he suffered against the Los Angeles Rams, but on Monday Fournette returned to practice. He wasn’t the only one however, as both rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook and veteran center Brandon Linder were also on the practice field.
WR Dede Westbrook, RB Leonard Fournette and C Brandon Linder practicing for #Jaguars Monday. LT Cam Robinson working on side.— John Oehser (@JohnOehser) October 30, 2017
The return of Westbrook was anticipated and it’s expected that he will be eased back into the Jaguars lineup, as he’s missed the first eight weeks of games and practice after having surgery for a sports hernia. Even in a limited capacity however, Westbrook could add another dimension that the Jaguars offense has been missing all season.
As for Fournette, the team lucked out facing a bad Colts team while he was out, but it appears the bye week came at the right time for him to get enough rest and be ready to go against the Cincinnati Bengals this week. Of course, he still needs to make it through a week of practice, but given he was a game time decision two weeks ago, I believe he’ll be ready.
I’m not sure if Linder will play this week, but even if he doesn’t the team has gotten good play out of backup center Tyler Shatley. In fact, Shatley has played well enough that I think he merits being considered starting at one of the guard positions if Linder is back against the Bengals. Not that guards A.J. Cann or Patrick Omameh have necessarily played poorly, but it would seem adding Linder and with Shatley’s play, you could upgrade the overall play of the line.
The real big concern is whether or not rookie left tackle Cam Robinson, who worked to the side on Monday, will be ready to go against a good Bengals pass rush. The Jaguars got by with Josh Wells during their last game against the Colts, but the Bengals defensive line is significantly better than what they face in Indianapolis. Robinson will be one to monitor this week as practice goes on.