No. 3 Jaguars player who must remain healthy: Brandon Scherff, OG
The Jaguars beefed up the right side of their offensive line when they signed Pro Bowl guard Brandon Scherff. It wasn’t cheap but there was arguably no better player available in free agency, and if you want to add the best of the best, you need to pay a premium more often than not.
At the time, this writer thought that signing Scherff wasn’t a good idea, not because he’s a bad player. Far from it. He’s made several Pro Bowls and earned a First-Team All-Pro designation back in 2020. Moreover, he’s constantly listed as one of the top NFL guards, so of course his addition will give the Jags’ offensive line a boost. Rather, it was his availability or lack thereof.
Scherff hasn’t played a full season since 2016 and has missed a total of 24 games over the last five seasons. The Jaguars were aware of this when they gave him a big contract earlier this year, so they won’t get caught off guard if the former Iowa Hawkeye is unavailable for a couple of games. As a matter of fact, it’s possible that they already have a contingency plan in case he has to miss a brief period of time.
The problem would arise if Scherff has to miss more than two or three games in 2022. If that’s the case, they would need to make many moves up front to mask his potential absence. Veteran Tyler Shatley or sophomore Cole Van Lanen could take his place in the lineup and both would do an adequate job but the drop-off would be considerable.
Not only will Scherff keep Lawrence upright but he will also open wide lanes for Travis Etienne and James Robinson to run through. Without Scherff in the lineup, said lanes will be considerably narrow.