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Daryl Smith injury: Gene Smith expects defensive improvement with return of Jaguars LB

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With the Jaguars linebacker back at practice and a possibility to make his return to the field in Week 7 against the Raiders, Gene Smith thinks he can help fix a No. 29 ranked defense improve.

Sam Greenwood - Getty Images

On Monday, for the first time of the 2012 season, Daryl Smith joined the Jaguars for a practice with optimism from many surrounding the possibility of the linebacker re-entering the lineup on Sunday against the Raiders.

With one of the two defensive team captains out of the lineup with a groin injury, the Jaguars defense has struggled in 2012, ranking as the No. 29 overall defense that is No. 24 against the pass and No. 30 against the run.

But according to General Manager Gene Smith, the return of Smith will lead to better defensive play from the Jaguars. While it's kind of a no-brainer that the infusion of the franchise's all-time leader in tackles in the place of Kyle Bosworth, who has struggled during his time in starting lineup, will help the team, the bigger question is how much?

With close to the same lineup as the 2011 Jaguars defense that finished as the No. 6 unit in the NFL, the Jaguars have been bad in every facet in 2012.