The Jacksonville Jaguars have been dealing with a few key injuries the past few weeks, most notably with offensive lineman Jermey Parnell and Patrick Omameh, but star linebacker Telvin Smith also left Sunday’s loss to the Arizona Cardinals with a concussion and missed practice on Wednesday.
Missing Smith for a length of time would be a big blow to the Jaguars defense, albeit it would still be good, Smith feels like the defense’s heartbeat. He’s often the player to ignite pick plays and spark huge defensive stands. Smith missed practice on Wednesday and if he’s unable to go against the Colts on Sunday, the team is likely to end up starting rookie linebacker Blair Brown.
“I mean he’ll be ready to play,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone told reporters on Wednesday prior to practice when he was asked if Brown would be ready to fill in for Telvin Smith, should he not be cleared in time. “He’s done a good job and if something happens there he’ll step up and have to be ready to play. He did a nice job when he got in there for a few snaps last week. He’s been playing better and better as the year has gone on. He had a little set back from an injury, but he came back from it so he’s healthy now and I have confidence in him.”
As far as the good news on the Jaguars injury front, both Parnell and Omameh returned to practice on Wednesday in a limited capacity, signaling their potential return to the starting lineup. Their statuses will have to be monitored during the week to make sure they’re on track to come back. Marrone in particular has a few things he’s going to be looking for from them in practice.
“Well I’m excited to see them back on the field,” Marrone said when asked about the status of the two offensive linemen. “I think we’ll go and practice, I think they’re ready to go probably from a limited basis, but we’ll see how it goes in practice because once we get out there those are movement skills that you really can’t recreate when you get out there, but I’m excited to see them out there starting to go.”
The big miss on the offensive line has been with Parnell at right tackle, as Josh Wells has struggled a bit filling in as a full time starter. The run game has taken a big nose dive too, without Parnell on that right side helping clear the way. It does appear that he’s on track to likely return this weekend against the Colts, which should give the offense a much needed boost.