The Jaguars addressed their injury issues at linebacker on Tuesday.
With the growing number of injuries to the Jaguars linebacking unit, the team announced it has signed Malcolm Smith and Donald Payne. The moves correspond with the team also announcing that tight end Geoff Swaim, who has a sprained ankle and is in concussion protocol) and linebacker D.J. Alexander, who suffered a foot injury, have been placed on the team’s reserve/injured list.
It was also announced the Jaguars signed linebacker Sutton Smith to the team’s practice squad.
Smith gives the Jaguars a veteran who has playoff experience. Payne has been a part of the organization in the past and knows the system the team runs under defensive coordinator Todd Wash.
"“Smith had been out of football in 2019 after spending the past two seasons in San Francisco. He also played two seasons in Oakland after spending the first four seasons of his career in Seattle, where he helped the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII over Denver with 10 tackles, a fumble recovery and a 69-yard interception return for a touchdown,” Michael DiRocco of ESPN.com wrote on Tuesday."
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The signing of Smith gives Jacksonville two former Super Bowl MVPs on their roster. Quarterback Nick Foles won the honor with the Philadelphia Eagles two seasons ago.
Jacksonville, although banged up in the middle, had it’s best defensive showing of the season in a 27-17 win over the Cincinnati Bengals this past Sunday. The team picked Andy Dalton off three times, taking one back for a touchdown, and recovered a fumble.
Per a press release by the team’s public relations department, Payne, 5-11, 217, previously appeared in 21 career games for the Jaguars during the 2017-18 seasons and totaled 15 tackles, 11 of them solo.
"Per DiRocco, “Alexander was one of three weakside linebackers who went down with injuries against the Bengals. Starter Najee Goode (turf toe) left the game in the first half and backups Quincy Williams (hamstring) and Alexander were hurt in the second half.”"
News of the team adding to its linebacker corps comes after the team announced that undrafted rookie linebacker Joe Giles-Harris was promoted to the active roster. The front office made other moves this week by waving cornerback Parry Nickerson from the active roster and quarterback Chase Litton from the practice squad.