The Jacksonville Jaguars were pretty good last year and they could be even better in 2023 after a productive offseason that saw them fortify their roster. Also, they're enjoying a relatively clean bill of health ahead of the preseason, and that should help them on their quest of making the playoffs and winning the AFC South title for the second straight season.
On the other hand, the Jags are still figuring a few things out. They're assessing their roster and looking for ways to make upgrades to positions in need ahead of the 2023 season. With that in mind, here are three questions Jacksonville needs to answer in the upcoming weeks.
3. The Jaguars must figure out the left guard position
The Jags knew Ben Bartch was going to need ample time to recover from the dislocated knee he sustained last year. Doug Pederson said earlier this year that he wasn't going to be probably ready for training camp, and that turned out to be the case. Bartch is currently on the Active/Physically Unable to Perform list and Pederson told the media in late July that he could need a few more weeks to return.
During Bartch's absence, Tyler Shatley got reps with the first team but he's currently out after an incident of Atrial Fibrillation. He should be back soon but the team is currently thin at the position. They're currently rolling with Blake Hence, who was in the practice squad last year. Rookie Cooper Hodges and Cole Van Lanen could also be in the mix but neither seems to be ready to step for a featured role right now.
This could be a cause for concern if Bartch isn't ready for the opener or if Shatley needs to miss more time than expected to recover. He was back with the team on Day 9 of training camp but didn't participate in drills.
Having said that, the coaching staff could take advantage of the situation and give their younger players a bigger workload during training camp. By giving Hodges Van Lanen and Hence more reps, it will be easier for the Jags to sort out the depth chart come roster cutdown day.