The Jacksonville Jaguars will face off against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2. While they have enough firepower on offense to keep up with the defending champs, they could be without a pair of offensive linemen, which isn't great news when you take into account that defensive tackle Chris Jones is back in the fold after holding out for the first game of the season.
The Jags posted their first Injury Report of the week. Center Luke Fortner and right guard Brandon Scherff popped up and were listed as non-participants Wednesday. Both are dealing with an ankle injury. Rookie Antonio Johnson, cornerback Gregory Junior, and defensive end Tyler Lacy also made an appearance.
Head coach Doug Pederson met with the local media Wednesday and said that Johnson still has ways to go before he's ready. On the other hand, he said that Fortner was a bit ahead of Scherff, who remains day-to-day after getting hurt in Week 1.
Johnson, a fifth-round pick in this year's draft, missed the opener and a portion of the preseason with a hamstring injury. Lacy also missed Week 1. On the other hand, Junior had an encouraging preseason and was dubbed one of the most improved players in training camp.
The Jaguars could be without Luke Fortner and Brandon Scherff vs. the Chiefs
The good news about the injuries Luke Fortner and Brandon Scherff are dealing with is that they still have a few days to recover. Having said that, it's reasonable to think Scherff will not dress against the Chiefs. Not long after the injury, Doug Pederson said they would keep monitoring him and added that his potential absence in Week 2 would be substantial.
If Scheff is a no-go, Tyler Shatley will then get a start at right guard. One of the longest-tenured members of the Jaguars, Shatley made 12 starts at left guard last year but has also lined up at center and on the right side. While he's not nearly as good as Scherff, he can hold his own and keep the right side of the offensive line afloat. The issue will be if Fortner has to sit out the Chiefs game.
Given that Shatley would most likely take Scherff's place, the Jags would go with either Cole Van Lanen or Blake Hance. However, since Van Lanen and Hance might be better suited to line up at guard, Shatley could get the start at center if both Scherff and Fortner are not available. This would be less than ideal when you consider that Chris Jones is one of the most dominant players in the league.
Working in the Jaguars' favor is that Jones is the only viable threat in the Kansas City defensive front, so they could win the battle in the trenches if they manage to slow him down. Then again, said task is easier said than done.
In the end, the Jaguars would like to have Luke Fortner and Brandon Scherff in Week 2 but there's a chance they won't. If that's the case, they will need to find a way to overcome their absence, which is what good teams do.