Jaguars DT Taven Bryan improves, could see more action on Sunday
Jacksonville Jaguars second-year defensive tackle Taven Bryan has shown steady improvement the past couple of weeks. He could see more playing time this week.
At this time last season, Jaguars fans watched the injury report rather than the shows like Sports Center to find out how their team would fair on offense from week to week. The roster looked more like a M.A.S.H unit than a football team with the front office bringing in players off the street to fill key roles on the offensive line and at tight end.
This year may not be any different, but it’s the defense that is taking the pounding in terms of injuries. With the announcement that defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is being placed on the team’s injured/reserve list, the Jaguars have signed Akeem Spence to the active roster.
The move also means second-year defensive tackle Taven Bryan will get more time on the field in Dareus’ absence.
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Per the Jaguars public relations department, “Spence, 6-1, 303, was originally drafted in the fourth round (100th overall) of the 2013 NFL Draft by Tampa Bay, where he played in all 16 games in three of four seasons, tallying 98 tackles, including nine tackles for loss, and added three fumble recoveries. He followed his tenure in Tampa Bay with one-year stints in Detroit and Miami.
While with the Lions, Spence totaled 29 tackles and career-high-tying 3.0 sacks, before registering a career-high 42 tackles in 16 starts during the 2018 season as a member of the Dolphins. Most recently, he played in six games this season with the Eagles after signing with the team on Sept. 11, 2019, and posted seven tackles.”
The Jaguars coaching staff has been pleased with the progress of Bryan, the team’s first-round draft pick out of Florida the past couple of weeks. His play last week at Cincinnati was part of the defensive surge in the second half that led to three interceptions and a 27-17 win on the road.
Bryan has been maligned this season for his on-and-off performances but had arguably the best game of his young career last weekend. Settling in to play on the interior line made have had something to do with his improvement as the coaching staff projected him as a big end in the pass rush.
“It’s a great opportunity for him,” defensive end/captain Calais Campbell said Thursday via Jaguars.com. “You can definitely see that he’s ready. I’m excited to see what he does. He’s been playing good football for us in small spurts, and now it’s just more opportunity for him.”
Bryan recorded one sack his rookie season. The Jaguars are fifth in the NFL with 21 sacks and are on pace for 48 for the season. The team had 37 sacks in 2018 after finishing second in the NFL in 2017 with 55.
In other news: When Campbell steps on the field on Sunday, he will be starting in the 160th game of his career. That is the most among active defensive linemen. Also, if he were to register a sack against the Jets, he will have 85.5 career sacks, including 29.0 sacks since signing with the Jaguars in 2017.