The Jacksonville Jaguars have hit a slew of injuries on the offensive side of the ball this week, sending quite a few of fans into a panic. The team got extremely lucky in 2017 and mostly dodged the injury bug, but so far in 2018 they haven’t been so lucky. The team lost starting wide receiver Marqise Lee to a knee injury in the preseason, starting left tackle Cam Robinson to a knee injury early in the season, Leonard Fournette has been out a few games and now Corey Grant and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are on injured reserve.
Oh yeah, back up left tackle Josh Wells has a groin injury keeping him out this week against the Dallas Cowboys and nickel corner D.J. Hayden is out for the third week in a row.
That all sounds really bad, but the state of the Jaguars injuries are being wildly overrated.
None of these injuries individually or combined are sink your season/offense bad, and if they are then there is another issue entirely we need to talk about.
The Jaguars receiving group hasn’t missed Marqise Lee as most didn’t think they would. Robinson was struggling all preseason and Josh Wells filled in his place without a blip and some could even argue was more consistent. Expecting Fournette to be healthy the full season was always beyond hopeful since he hasn’t been healthy a full season since about 2015 and Grant was a package player at best. As far as Seferian-Jenkins, his blocking will be missed but the Jaguars haven’t utilized the tight end as a receiving option since David Garrard was earning a $60 million extension.
Without Fournette the Jaguars offense has showed, multiple times, it can get things down and effectively run the football. That’s not even mentioning that even with Fournette the Jaguars were mediocre running the ball. Not to undersell Fournette, but the offense hasn’t really taken a nosedive without him out there.
The bread and butter of the Jaguars success is on the defensive side of the ball, not the offense. As long as the defensive side of the ball maintains their health, the Jaguars should be successful this season. They’ll still live and die by which quarterback shows up on Sunday, but none of the injuries on the offense side of the ball should have that much of a long term impact on the performance of the quarterback. If more wide receivers start dropping out, or another offensive lineman for the season it will become a concern.
As it is however?
The Jaguars have lost their third best receiver, the left tackle who was struggling, a tight end who wasn’t all that involved, and a package running back.
There were issues at the running back position prior to the run of injuries that the Jaguars gambled on in the offseason and lost. Signing guys like Jamaal Charles and David Williams are things they should have done prior to or during training camp, rather than keeping six wide receivers.
That’s not even going to get my hand close to the panic button.