Jacksonville Jaguars Injury Update: Dwayne Gratz, Andre Branch, Johnathan Cyprien, Luke Joeckel return


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The Jacksonville Jaguars have had horrible injury luck so far in 2015, including a debacle against the New England Patriots last week that forced the team to play an undrafted free agent cornerback at safety (sorry

Peyton Thompson


Fortunately, the Jaguars are getting a little bit of a break with 4 key players returning to practice: starting left tackle Luke Joeckel, starting strong safety Johnathan Cyprien, starting LEO Andre Branch, and third cornerback Dwayne Gratz.

Andre Branch returning isn’t going to fix the pass rush, but he does provide another body to throw at an underwhelming Indianapolis Colts offensive line. The same goes for Johnathan Cyprien, who wasn’t really playing all that well before his injury. The intriguing part of Cyrpien’s return is that we’ll finally get a look at the lineup the Jaguars likely envisioned when they drafted James Sample to take over at free safety.

Gratz’s return is huge, as the Jaguars were absolutely depleted in the secondary. Nick Marshall, the converted QB-to-CB undrafted free agent from Auburn, had to play meaningful snaps against the Patriots in addition to Thompson at safety, and the lack of experience showed. With Davon House likely out this week, Gratz’s presence in the lineup will be a big help.

While Sam Young hasn’t been a trainwreck over the last 2 weeks, he’s still a fair bit worse than Luke Joeckel. Despite his reputation among the fans and media, Joeckel is a serviceable left tackle at this point and he’s actually above average as a run blocker. His return should help shore up the left side of the line, particularly with left guard Zane Beadles playing poorly enough to warrant a benching sooner rather than later.

Even with these players returning, the Jaguars still have an abundance of key injuries including Julius Thomas and Marqise Lee.

Next: Blake Bortles must step up

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