Facing the Jaguars should not be just another game for Yannick Ngakoue

Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue (91) at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports /

Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue will be playing for the first time at TIAA Bank Field since being traded to the Minnesota Vikings in 2020. However, he won’t do it as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars and will instead be playing for the Indianapolis Colts. Surprisingly, Yannick doesn’t see his return to Jacksonville as a big deal.

The 2020 Pro Bowl defensive end said this will be just “another game for him“, via JJ Stankevitz of the Colts’ official website. “It’s a special game since it’s the first time I’ve been back since my trade”.

A third-round pick in the 2016 draft by the Jags, Ngakoue appeared in 63 games with 62 starts for the Black and Teal and logged 37.5 sacks 122 total tackles and 14 forced fumbles during his four-year stint.

Unfortunately, Yannick had a contract dispute during the 2020 offseason that led to his trade to the Minnesota Vikings that year. Not long after, he was shipped once again; this time to the Baltimore Ravens. He then played for the Las Vegas in 2021 and was traded (notice a pattern here?) to Indy earlier this year.

Another topic that came up before Sunday’s game was the losing streak at TIAA Bank Field the Colts have been riding since 2014. When asked about it, Ngakoue talked said “it’s super critical because it’s a conference game”. Similarly, linebacker Shaquille Leonard compared the situation to bringing up your ex-girlfriend with your current one, “You gotta learn from your ex, make your life better and continue to get better from there”.

This won’t be another game for the Jaguars nor Colts DE Yannick Ngakoue

Neither the Colts nor the Jaguars have won a game in 2022. The former tied with the Houston Texans in Week 1 while the latter fell to the Commanders. Both clubs will be looking for their first win of the season and because no AFC South won in the season opener, whoever comes out of the Bank with a W will be second or possibly first place in the division.

Going back to Ngakoue, it’s a good thing that he (at least publicly) sees this as just another game. He nor the Colts gain anything by providing bulletin material to the Jags. Having said that, there’s something about facing off against the team that gave up on you.

Getting traded or released is part of the business side of things in the NFL but there must be a feeling of validation when you show your former team that they made a mistake when they gave up on you.

Of course, Ngakoue returning to Jacksonville won’t get the same kind of headlines as Russell Wilson facing the Seattle Seahawks. But it should still make for good TV Sunday.

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