After opening joint practices on Wednesday in dominating fashion, your Jacksonville Jaguars wrapped up practices Thursday morning with the Detroit Lions in an extremely competitive battle. The Lions will host the Jaguars on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET for preseason game two. Thursday was a windy day, with the two teams in uppers/shells and shorts (no full contact or tackling).
OT Josh Wells, S Antonio Johnson and DL Foley Fatukasi ruled out for Jaguars Saturday versus Lions.— John Oehser (@JohnOehser) August 17, 2023
Anton Harrison is practicing and handily won his 1-on-1 rep just now. Clearly hurting from the shoulder injury though as he tries to stretch it out on the sideline . Not sure how much we’ll see from him the rest of the day. #Jaguars #DUUUVAL— Kainani Stevens (@KainaniStevens) August 17, 2023
For those who may have missed the show, per the Jaguars' Wednesday night airing of ‘Huddle Up with Bucky Brooks’ with JP Shadrick, John Oesher, and Jeff Lageman the team reported that Anton Harrison left Wednesday’s practice with his ongoing shoulder issue and Josh Wells went down with a seemingly bad injury. Below was a portion of their back-and-forth:
Shadrick: ...on the outside Walker Little, Anton Harrison who actually left practice early today, kind of favoring that shoulder again....
Lageman: Harrison, I thought was was really good...then you brought up the the shoulder after that one-on-one drill in a team period. Anton Harrison had to come out and was in a noticeable amount of pain. And he’s wearing a harness; and for people that don’t know what a harness is - a shoulder harness there’s a kind of a cloth canvas material that goes around the chest and then it connects to a cuff that goes around the arm. And what it’s designed to do... it’s designed to keep the arm from getting away from the chest body too far to help protect the shoulder a little bit. And it’s something that he’s wearing and if he had a problem with the shoulder earlier in camp and it grabbed them like that today- I’m not an expert here, but I’ve worn those shoulder harnesses before and it was usually an indication there’s something wrong and it probably needs fixing. But you know, you can still play with it.
Oesher: Hopefully he will get, you know shut him down for the rest of preseason maybe? I mean I’m just speculating maybe give him some rest for the regular season at this point.
Lageman: Well it’s just tough for a rookie and he’s a young player. You want to give him the rest. And look, and hopefully it’s not something that needs fixing - that it just needs rest and they’re being overly cautious with the whole harness thing, but I can tell you this, I mean a first-round pick and he’s a right tackle. You’re going to be losing your starting left tackle Cam Robinson for four games to start the season out, Josh Wells went out with an injury today which didn’t look good. Some kind of an injury we don’t know exactly what it is. I mean, so now suddenly what was a position that you felt like was very deep once you started training camp in a matter of one day you go ‘oh wow, wait a minute here.’ It’s a little concerning.
With no media availability, we hope to get more information from the team soon on the specifics for Harrison, Wells, Antonio Johnson, Tyler Shatley, Foley Fatukasi, and any other potential player ailments or injuries.
Note: in camp, it was previously mentioned that it was a hamstring issue with Antonio Johnson. Per 1010xl on Thursday night, the broadcast mentioned an (unofficial) expectation that he could be out for a few weeks with this injury.
“It feels like he (Fatukasi) could be ready for week one, that’s the hope at least.”— Jordan de Lugo (@jordandelugo) August 17, 2023
JP Shadrick on Foley Fatukasi’s injury.
Let’s dive into our observations from Thursday’s joint practice with the Lions. As always, I would like to give a major shout-out to the Jaguars media team and the many local beat writers, both from Jacksonville and Detroit for providing updates to the working fans and non-local media unable to make it out to Allen Park.
Depth Chart/Roster Items Of Note:
Dan Campbell on 97.1 just said he doesn’t plan on playing staters on Saturday vs. jaguars. Some rookies may sit, too.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) August 17, 2023
The Lions’ wide receiver core was hit with multiple injuries on Wednesday - losing both Jameson Williams and Amon-Ra St. Brown for at minimum this week. With those injuries and both teams getting in a significant reps of Lions versus Jaguars starters in one-on-ones, seven-on-sevens, and team periods in both practices it seems the Lions have seen what they hoped to out of their starters.
The Lions had a similar process in preseason week one, after their joint practices versus the New York Giants. However, historically the second preseason game has been used as more of a dress rehearsal for teams, the joint practices do add an extended evaluation period. The Lions will instead opt to use Saturday’s game to get an extended look at their rookies and depth players. It is still unknown if the Jaguars will proceed in playing their healthy starters on Saturday since this update was provided by the Lions' head coach.
Both sides of the ball started hot early again, a rollover from Wednesday with Dewey Wingard intercepting Jared Goff to start the party for the defense. Wingard would later intercept Lions backup quarterback Nate Sudfield in the same period. The offense, not to be outdone immediately followed the Wingard interception with a Trevor Lawrence to Zay Jones seven-on-seven redzone touchdown.
Competitive Practice Day:
After the initial plays, this practice became more of a great back-and-forth between seemingly evenly-matched teams, with both sides scoring and also getting impressive defensive stops.
The Jaguars offense had an up-and-down period from that point on.
Lions defense looked good in red zone 7-on-7. Lawrence only found the end zone twice in eight tries. Both to Zay Jones with Cam Sutton in coverage.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) August 17, 2023
Defense struggled a little more in normal 7-on-7.
Overall, Trevor Lawrence had a pretty efficient day, taking what the defense gave and continuing to move the chains consistently.
However, Lawrence's day wasn't without its hiccups as he threw one bad interception toward the end of the team period. With Hutchinson providing pressure Lawrence overthrew Calvin Ridley, who was double-covered by about 15 yards.
Nevertheless, this Ridley/Lawrence connection will be something popcorn-worthy this season.
Offensive Line Depth Tested:
Between the Tyler Shatley heart situation, Ben Bartch just returning to practice from the PUP, the coming Cam Robinson suspension, and Anton Harrison's lingering shoulder injury the Jaguars' offensive line depth looks to be tested early in the season.
During 11 on 11 period, Blake Hance - coming off his clean sheet preseason performance at guard for Tyler Shatley - was kicked out to right tackle to replace Anton Harrison. Harrison continued to nurse his shoulder on the side, while Walker Little manned left guard, and Cam Robinson at left tackle.
Defensive Ups and Downs:
After the initial turnovers by the defense, the Lions were able to attain some success in the air. Tyson Campbell, back from his recent stint on the concussion protocol seemed to give up a long touchdown to Josh Reynolds from Jared Goff. It could have been a coverage breakdown, however as Reynolds came from across field to Tyson's zone.
Meanwhile, the Josh Allen 2023 hype-train is only picking up steam. Allen had another impressive day, with multiple sacks/pressures (not live) in the team period.
Nevertheless, with the starting offense versus the starting defense, considering the two receivers who were missing from the Detroit lineup I did expect a better day against Goff. The Jaguars’ defense gave up three touchdowns to Jared Goff in red zone seven-on-seven, with Travon Walker and Rayshawn Jenkins both beat for touchdowns.
Goff went 7/8 in the period. Other than the coverage busts and red zone, the defense was about average. Some good; some bad; an overall inconsistent day in whole for the Jags starting defense after the great Wednesday practice.
It's only one practice in a vacuum, but the Jags D could be a concern this year.— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) August 17, 2023
Please, Jaguar fans please take this PFF tweet with a grain of salt. There was no context given and no support as to what prompted this tweet overall. Most reports out of both Detroit and Jacksonville reflect a pretty evenly even matchup in nearly all areas.
Jags TE Brenton Strange with the early play of practice, Mossing Brian Branch, who was in near-perfect coverage.— Jeremy Reisman (@DetroitOnLion) August 17, 2023
It’s always nice to see a competitive matchup between the prospect many Jaguar fans wanted versus the player who was eventually drafted. A great play by Strange, who continues to impress.
Speaking of impressive, Brandon McManus continued to put on a kicking show, as he has done pretty much since his signing.
Just couldn't wrap this up without another Zay Jones special.
That’s it from us today! The team will be off on Friday before their Saturday, one pm preseason kickoff for game two versus the Lions.
Jaguar fans are you feeling better, worse, or the same after the last two days of joint practices? I know I can't be the only one disappointed not to see our starters versus Detroit's. Any other takeaways from Thursday's practice? Post away in the comments!