You have probably heard NFL clubs talk about the ‘next man up’ and that’s because reserves are just one injury away from stepping foot on the football field. In the Jacksonville Jaguars’ case, they’ve already ruled out cornerback Shaquill Griffin and return specialist Jamal Agnew for their matchup against the New York Giants in Week 7.
Veteran cornerback Tre Herndon will take Griffin’s spot in the lineup while Chris Claybrooks will most likely handle return duties in Agnew’s place against the G-Men. Griffin is coming off a game in which he gave up nine receptions for over 100 yards and one touchdown on 13 targets. He got hurt during the game, according to head coach Doug Pederson, so that could have played a role in his poor performance.
On the bright side, the Jags have an adequate replacement for Griffin in Herndon. An undrafted free agent in 2018, the Vanderbilt product worked his way up the depth chart and became a starter the following season. After his rookie contract expired, he was brought back to start at nickel last year. But an MCL injury in the preseason sidelined him for several weeks and wasn’t fully healhty.
Still, the Jaguars re-signed Herndon once again earlier this year. Griffin also missed Week 3 and Herndon got the starting nod then. He ended up playing 51 defensive snaps and allowed two passes on three targets for 28 yards. Head coach Doug Pederson told the media Friday he’s confident the cornerback will hold his own.
“He’s a veteran player, he’s stepped in the past”, Pederson said. “Sometimes it’s tough being in those sort of backup roles like that but he did a nice job on the Chargers game several weeks ago. He makes the most of his opportunities, so a lot of confidence in him going if he has to”.
When Pederson met with the media, Griffin’s status was still up in the air but now that he’s ruled out, Herndon making the start against New York is no longer in question. On the other hand, Jacksonville will certainly miss Agnew’s impact on special teams. Even though Agnew hasn’t broken off a big return this season, there will be somewhat of a dropoff with Claybrooks taking his place. On the bright side, Agnew is day-to-day and could eventually come back.
Other Jaguars are listed as questionable vs. the Giants in Week 7
Shaquill Griffin and Jamal Agnew might not be the only Jaguars that won’t suit up for Week 7. Defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi, linebacker Foyesade Oluokun, defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton and wide receiver Marvin Jones Jr. all were listed as questionable in the last injury report before Sunday.
If Marvin Jones isn’t unavailable, Tim Jones will probably take his spot in the lineup. If both Hamilton and Fatukasi aren’t good to go, veteran Corey Peters, who was recently signed to the active roster, could see extended action.
Then again, it seems like Fatukasi is trending towards returning to the field after missing the last two contests. Having him against the Giants would increase their chances of stopping running back Saquon Barkley. And if Oluokun is inactive, rookie Chad Muma would probably start in his place.
Oluokun and Hamilton were listed as questionable last week but went on to play, so there’s no reason to think they’ll suit up Sunday.