The Jacksonville Jaguars were abnormally healthy last season, avoiding a lot of major injuries to key players. This offseason the team has missed that bug as well, outside of a few knicks, there is the curious case of Dante Fowler, Jr. The Jaguars defensive end missed the team’s offseason program and the team decided not to pick up his fifth-year option, though I doubt either had anything to do with one another.
Hayes Carlyon of 1010XL had an interesting observation from mandatory mini-camp about Fowler, who was sidelined.
That’s why a red flag went up in my mind when I saw him during the mandatory minicamp on June 13. Fowler missed the offseason program recovering from an upper-body injury. The Jaguars haven’t disclosed the injury (they don’t have to yet), but it’s obvious Fowler has lost sizable muscle mass in his upper body.
As Hayes mentioned, the Jaguars don’t have to disclose or talk about any injuries at this point during the offseason, because they’re not required to like they are during the regular season. Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone essentially panned any questions about Fowler’s health, but the fact that he had a noticeable loss of upper body mass makes me a little worried about his effectiveness this season.
Sure, it’s very possible that he’ll regain everything back and be ready to go for Week 1 of the regular season and have a three-sack game, but if he’s still in recovery from an upper body injury and needs to recover mass as well as get in game shape, that’s a whole different story.
Then again, maybe he just leaned out and it’s no big deal.