Jaguars will have slight edge in Week 6, 2 Dolphins playmakers ruled out

Cornerback Xavien Howard #25 of the Miami Dolphins (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Cornerback Xavien Howard #25 of the Miami Dolphins (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Miami Dolphins are favored to beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 6. However, they won’t be at full strength for the game in London. The Phins will be missing cornerback Xavien Howard and wide receiver DeVante Parker.

Miami has already ruled out Howard and Parker for the game. Cornerback Byron Jones is also listed as questionable with Achilles and groin injuries. If he misses the game, Miami will be without their two top cornerbacks and their secondary will be vulnerable.

Safety Brandon Jones (ankle), Wide receiver Preston Williams (groin), tight end Adam Shaheen (knee), and quarterback Jacoby Brissett (hamstring) also popped up in the Dolphins’ injury report with the questionable tag.

Head coach Brian Flores has announced that Tua Tagovailoa will suit up Sunday, so not having Brisset would not be a big blow. Tagovailoa was placed on the injured reserve list after suffering a rib injury in the season opener. This will be his first game since being activated. Here’s Miami’s final injury report ahead of the game.

The Jacksonville Jaguars will have a favorable matchup in Week 6.

Howard hasn’t been as great as he was last year, when he logged 20 passes defensed, one forced fumble, and ten interceptions. The First-Team All-Pro cornerback appeared in the first five games of the 2021 campaign and has snagged just one interception and batted six passes. Furthermore, his Pro Football Focus overall grade has gone from 87.3 to 59.4. Then again, it was always going to be difficult for him to recreate the success he had last season.

On the other side of the ball, the Phins will be without Parker, their most productive receiver. Even though rookie Jaylen Waddle has hauled in more passes in 2021, Parker has more yards and a better yard-per-catch average. Not having him will help the Jaguars’ secondary focus on stopping Waddle. This season, Shaquill Griffin has been tasked with covering his opponents’ number one wideout, so he might cover Waddle for most of the game.d

The Jacksonville Jaguars are dealing with injuries of their own.

The Jaguars will be without center Brandon Linder, who suffered an ankle injury in Week 5 and Tyler Shatley will start in his place. Even though Linder is the better player of the two, the dropoff in talent won’t be as steep. Shatley can line up anywhere in the interior of the offensive line and he had a lot of reps with quarterback Trevor Lawrence in training camp. In fact, the rookie passer had a positive assessment of the veteran, via the team’s official website.

"He’s a guy I’ve gotten a lot of reps with, especially in the offseason – and even in [training] camp and a little bit during the season. He’s a guy who’s in there a lot that can play any of the interior [line] positions, so he gets a ton of reps. It’s pretty seamless, him going in there. He’s one of the smartest plays we have, and for a quarterback that’s really big."

An undrafted free agent in 2014, Shatley has spent his entire NFL career in Jacksonville. He’s appeared in 99 games and has made 25 starts, 10 of them last season. The Jaguars also ruled out Myles Jack (back) and defensive lineman Rashaad Coward (ankle for the game). They listed cornerback Tyson Campbell (toe), and defensive end Roy Robertson-Harris (ankle) as questionable.

Even without Jack, and Coward, the Jaguars are in good shape ahead of their Week 6 matchup. They have previously have had chances to earn their first win of the 2021 season but have fallen short. The Dolphins will be without two of their best players, so this could be the week Jacksonville earns that first “W”.

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