Players the Jaguars cannot afford to lose this season to injury
By David Levin
Will the injury bug damage the 2019 season for the Jacksonville Jaguars?
It seemed like every single week the Jaguars were announcing changes to the roster due to injury. It began with left tackle Cam Robinson and ended with numerous players being placed on the list at the end of 2018.
Above everything else, this roster must stay healthy if Jacksonville has any chance of making it back to the playoffs.
Some players on the roster, should they go down for an extended time, can be replaced until they return. Others, who hold value above and beyond the playing field, could cripple the Jaguars chances of making it to the playoffs in 2019.
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Here are three players this team can ill-afford to miss this season.
Calais Campbell – It’s not just the 25 sacks and a relentless pass rush the Calais Campbell has brought to the Jaguars over the past two years. It’s a leader on the field and in the locker room that is desperately needed help with young players learning to play in the NFL.
With the contract situation up in the air for Yannick Ngakoue, which we all hope doesn’t mean a regular-season hold out, and rookie Josh Allen getting his feet wet this week in training camp in his first season in the league, losing a veteran like Campbell could be devastating to the team’s pass rush and overall defensive composition.
Myles Jack – Some would say Myles Jack regressed last season from taking a major step forward after his 2017 campaign. With the changes at the linebacker position, the third-year pro becomes the grizzled veteran of this unit.
Losing his leadership and playmaking ability would be a huge deficit for this defense.
Jack has said he wants to be the teams “quarterback” and lead the charge vocally and physically. He’ll get that opportunity, but he must deliver. It would be a shame if he took another step forward this coming season and then had to stop because of a major injury.
Nick Foles – No need to really explain this one. The Jaguars went all-in on Nick Foles this off-season and then released both Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler. There is no experienced back up should Foles go down with an injury.
There is more pressure on the former Philadelphia Eagles star to perform given that should he not be able to complete the season, the Jaguars would likely tumble into the abyss.
Quarterback play was the major reason for the team’s demise last season. There needs to be a clear cut second-stringer on this roster. Gardner Minshew, Alex McGough, and Tanner Lee are still developing, and don’t strike fear in opposing defenses.