Defensive lineman DaVon Hamilton was expected to have a huge impact for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2023. However, he suffered a non-football injury in the preseason and was placed on the Injury Reserve list to start the regular season. While he's close to returning, he won't be making the trip to London and will remain in Jacksonville to continue his treatment.
Head coach Doug Pederson met with the local media Wednesday and said Hamilton will be one of the players who won't travel with the team for the NFL International Series. Not long after, the team released a statement regarding Hamilton's status:
"DaVon Hamilton is looking forward to finishing his antibiotics next week and continuing his training here in Jacksonville (while the team is in London). While doctors are very pleased with his progress, it would be premature to put a timeline on his return."
Hamilton appeared in 17 games with 14 starts last year. He posted a career-high 2.5 sacks and became an integral piece of the team's defensive line rotation. He was rewarded in the offseason with a three-year deal worth $34 million.
Since Hamilton was placed on IR once the season started, he's eligible to return after four weeks. However, it looks like he needs more time to recover before he can contribute.
DaVon Hamilton will give the Jaguars pass rush a boost
It's uncertain when Hamilton will return but it will be at least after Week 5, when the Jaguars return from their two-game stretch in the UK. The defensive line could certainly use him. Jacksonville registered four sacks in the opener but their pass rush has considerably slowed down the last two weeks.
As Eugene Frenette of The Florida Times-Union noted, the Jags don't sound overly confident about creating pressure until Hamilton and defensive back Dawuane Smoot return, "The guys that we have out there, that's who we have. You got to go out there and win your 1-on-1s," defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell said Thursday.
Smoot will make the trip to London but the team wants to see him practice and see where he's at before he comes back. He suffered an Achilles tear last year and spent the offseason recovering. Like Hamilton, he was placed on IR after the preseason, so he's eligible to return after Week 4.
Currently, the Jaguars' top pass rushers are Josh Allen and Travon Walker. The former has four sacks and the latter has one. K'Lavon Chaisson also had a sack against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2 but he's otherwise having a quiet campaign.
This is why the Jags cannot wait to have Smoot and Hamilton back. Both were important pieces of their rotation last year and having them in the fold could potentially take some pressure off Allen and Walker.
The Jaguars are currently 1-2. If they want to get back on track, they'll need their available players to put it all together. On the other hand, they could use some help. Hamilton and Smoot will provide it.