Building an NFL roster is no easy task and teams have to make sure they have enough depth to overcome any potential injuries in case the starters go down. The Jacksonville Jaguars will reportedly place outside linebacker K’Lavon Chaisson on the Injured Reserve list but he’s not the only player they might need to replace.
Mia O’Brien of 1010 XL reported Monday that starting left guard Ben Bartch dislocated his knee and suffered ligament damage in the Jags’ devastating loss to the Houston Texans in Week 13. The former St. John Johnny walked off the football field Sunday, so it was difficult to truly assess how hurt he got. O’Brien’s update brings clarity to the situation.
A fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft, Bartch started all five games this season and hadn’t missed a single snap before his injury. For the year, he’s posted a Pro Football Focus overall grade of 60.5 and has not given up a sack.
Bartch had to compete with veteran Tyler Shatley for the starting job at right tackle. Although Shatley got plenty of reps, Bartch ended up getting the nod. Regardless of how much time he misses, Shatley is the most likely candidate to take his spot in the lineup.
The Jaguars have an adequate replacement at LG in Tyler Shatley
The Jaguars should soon announce how serious Bartch’s injury is. Head coach Doug Pederson told the media Monday the third-year pro is currently undergoing testing to assess the damage. But for the time being, Shatley is can step in immediately and the drop won’t be significant in performance.
It’s also worth noting that Cole Van Lanen will move up the depth chart and will probably become the primary backup in the interior. The Jaguars could still look for outside help but they have enough in-house options to overcome Bartch’s absence.
While Shatley is far from a Pro Bowler, he’s proven to be dependable when called up. In fact, the team’s brass recognize his value and brought him back on a two-year deal in the offseason. An undrafted free agent in 2014, the former Clemson Tiger has spent his whole NFL career in Jacksonville. He’s mostly played a reserve role during his nine-year stint with the Jaguars but he made 18 starts in the past two seasons.
Last season, Shatley saw time at right guard and later center when Brandon Linder wasn’t able to play. He should have no trouble filling in for Bartch at left guard, whether it’s a few games or the remainder of the season.