The Jacksonville Jaguars have turned the page after losing to the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. Now, they're fully focused on their Week 3 opponent, the Houston Texans. On paper, the Jags are the better team and their chances of getting their second win of the season have gone slightly up in light of the news that third-year cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. has been ruled out of the game.
Stingley hurt his hamstring injury Wednesday and won't suit up in Week 3. There's a strong chance he'll miss several weeks and could even land on Injured Reserve, according to Aaron Wilson of KPRC 2. A first-round pick in 2022, Stingley was the Texans' No. 1 cornerback. Veteran Shaquill Griffin will step in his place and will get significant playing time Sunday.
Stingley appeared in nine games as a rookie before suffering a hamstring injury that forced him to miss the remainder of the season. He was expected to make strides in Year 2 before he got hurt. The silver lining is that he could be eventually back depending on how serious the injury is. Even if he's placed on the Injured Reserve, he could come back after four weeks, so he may not be done for the season.
Griffin joined the Texans in the offseason, having spent the previous two years with the Jags. Although he was their top cornerback in 2021, he was held back by a back injury early in the 2022 season and was eventually shut down.
The Jaguars could be without Zay Jones, who didn't practice Wednesday. Knowing they won't have to face Stingley, they might be better off not thrusting Jones into action if he isn't a full-go. Even before the news of Stingley's injury broke, the Jacksonville wide receiver corps stacked up favorably against the Texans' cornerback room.
The Jaguars must take advantage of the matchup without Derek Stingley in the mix
The Jaguars are currently favored to win despite the fact that they're not at full strength. Outside linebacker Josh Allen is day-to-day with a shoulder injury. Defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi is dealing with the same ailment and didn't practice Wednesday. On the bright side, center Luke Fortner and right guard Brandon Scherff seem to have recovered from the ankle injuries they had last year, so the offensive line should play better than they did against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In general, the Jags have more talent across their roster than Houston but they cannot afford to take their guard down after their disappointing loss to the Chiefs. In fact, it should serve as a wake-up call that they must bring in their A-game every week. Head coach Doug Pederson said the team practiced poorly last week. They can't afford to fall into bad habits if they want to get back into the win column.
Without Derek Stingley Jr., the Jaguars wide receiver corps will have a favorable matchup Sunday. Now, it's up to them to take advantage of it.