No. 4 Jaguars player who must shine vs. the Saints in Week 7: Dawuane Smoot, DL
The Jaguars' defensive front got reinforcements when Dawuane Smoot made his season debut against the Colts. He made his presence felt right off the bat, making a tackle for a loss on third down. Smoot ended up playing 32 snaps in Week 6 and could get a bigger workload against the Saints. Defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell, for one, was pleased with Smoot's performance.
"I think that was big, get back coming off injury. It was great to see him go back out there and play. He'll just continue to get better. First day, you're out there, you're going as hard as you can. Then, you start to feel, 'I'm back', and he'll go out there. He did some good things in the pass rush, and he'll continue to do it."
No. 3 Jaguars player who must shine vs. the Saints: Blake Hance, OL
Right guard Brandon Scherff suffered an ankle injury against Indianapolis and he's questionable for Thursday. Blake Hance replaced him Sunday and he'll likely get the start if Scherff isn't good to go. The offensive line has dealt with injuries in recent weeks, but offensive coordinator Press Taylor told the media Tuesday that they've built a trust factor and trust the guy next to them to do his job.
"There's always been some guy, how do you trust this guy to do this, whether it be Walker Little, Blake Hance, Tyler Shatley, these guys are invaluable for us. They're guys that their teammates trust, we as coaches trust them, but more importantly, the guys in the field trust the guy next to them to do their job."
This is Hance's second stint with the Jags. He signed to their practice squad in 2019 and spent time on the active roster in 2020. He returned to Jacksonville last year and has become a key reserve.