Jaguars rookies suffer injuries on same day of training camp
By David Levin
Jaguars must deal with injuries to their two third-round draft picks from April.
This is not the news the Jacksonville Jaguars needed prior to the team’s trip to Baltimore to hold joint practices before the team’s preseason game with the Ravens. Rookie outside linebacker Quincy Williams has suffered a torn meniscus in his knee and will miss 4-6 weeks, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports.
Because of the timing of the injury, Williams won’t miss much game time, Rapoport added.
The move is still a big blow to the linebacking unit, a group that is still finding its way in training camp. The Jaguars are still looking to replace Telvin Smith who decided to take the year off from football and still have questions at both strong side and weakside linebacker.
The only guarantee is Myles Jack will be on the field, playing in the middle of the defense.
The Jaguars signed Jake Ryan in the offseason from Green Bay in free agency, but as head coach Doug Marrone reported last week, the middle linebacker has suffered a setback in his recovery from an ACL injury he suffered last year and started training camp on the PUP list.
He will be on the field when he is cleared to play.
The Jaguars are also dealing with another potential injury to their rookie class. It has been reported by multiple sources that tight end Josh Oliver, Jacksonville’s other third-round draft pick in April, suffered a hamstring injury on Thursday and will be further evaluated to determine the severity of the injury.
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Oliver was brought in to help with the passing attack as a solid pass catcher in college.
The one thing the Jaguars cannot deal with this season is a rash of injuries like the ones the franchise suffered through last season. The offense, which was 31st in the NFL last season in scoring, could not recover from the losses of bodies on the field.
Williams was working on the field trying to lock down the starting spot in the Jaguars defense. Both veterans Ramik Wilson and Najee Goode were brought in during free agency to challenge for Smith’s open position. The linebackers as a group have more depth than last season, but this injury not only sets the defense back, it also hurts the rookie’s time on the field where he has openly asked Marrone for more reps and playing time.
Marrone praised Williams this week during Jacksonville’s second week of training camp for his speed and agility and his desire to start for this franchise.