Rookie defensive back Antonio Johnson is dealing with a hamstring injury and won't probably make his NFL debut when the Jacksonville Jaguars take on the Indianapolis Colts in the season opener. However, there were are few encouraging news on the team's first injury report of the year.
Johnson did not practice Wednesday, and head coach Doug Pederson told the media he might need two or three weeks before he's a full-go. On the other hand, defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi is back in practice and should be ready to go in Week 1. Defensive end Tyler Lacy, for his part, was able to partake in practice on a limited basis even though he's dealing with a hip injury.
"Antonio is a week or two away, he's still a little bit further away. Don't anticipate him doing much in practice until he's fully back," Pederson told the media. "Foley is back. He had a nice workout on Monday and it feels good and we get him, incorporated back in practice... Tyler is another one we're gonna we're gonna get him back out there and see where he's at, and monitor him through the first half of practice."
A fifth-round pick in this year's draft, Johnson doesn't figure to have a big role early in the season, so not having him against the Colts wouldn't tip the scale much. On the other hand, Fatukasi, who was in a boot during a good portion of the preseason, will be one of the players in the trenches who will need to step up during DaVon Hamilton's absence.
Hamilton suffered a non-football injury in the preseason and will sit out at least the first four games of the season. To fill the void, the Jaguars will be counting on Fatukasi, Jeremiah Ledbetter, and Adam Gotsis. Here's a fragment of Pederson's exchange with the media Wednesday.
The Jaguars are in favorable shape ahead of Week 1 vs. the Colts
It's early in the season and injuries could start to pile up in a couple months. At the same point last year, the Jags had a rare clean bill of health. However, it only lasted a few weeks. That said, it's encouraging to see Jacksonville going into the opener as healthy as they can be. Sure, it will be a while before they get Dawuane Smoot and DaVon Hamilton back but they have enough talent on both sides of the ball to overcome their absence.
It's also great to see rookie right guard Anton Harrison is no longer dealing with a shoulder injury that forced him to miss time last month. Similarly, offensive guard Brandon Scherff, who was on the report seemingly every week last year, is a full-go against the Colts.
Even though the Colts aren't in great shape right now, having close to a full deck against their division rivals will ensure the Jaguars aren't on the wrong side of an upset when they travel to Indianapolis for the opener.