Jaguars roster: Cooper Hodges and DaVon Hamilton placed on short IR, 2 others signed

• Cooper Hodges and DaVon Hamilton land on IR

• Angelo Blackson and Blake Hance are in for the Jaguars

Jacksonville Jaguars guard Cooper Hodges (75) stretches Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023 at Miller Electric
Jacksonville Jaguars guard Cooper Hodges (75) stretches Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023 at Miller Electric / Corey Perrine/Florida Times-Union / USA

NFL clubs trimmed down their roster to 53 players Tuesday but they'll continue to make moves in the upcoming days. The Jacksonville Jaguars, for one, have placed rookie offensive lineman Cooper Hodges and defensive end DaVon Hamilton on short Injured Reserved. In a corresponding move, they used the spots vacated to sign a familiar face in Blake Hance and veteran defensive lineman Angelo Blackson.

The Jags announced the moves Thursday, one day after teams put in waivers for players. Hodges had turned heads in training camp. Besides pumping up fans before practice with his Tugboat Tumble, he flashed enough talent to secure a roster spot. Meanwhile, Hamilton was one of their most dominant players throughout the summer and was expected to have a huge impact in 2023.

Hance, an undrafted free agent in 2019, is in his second stint with the Jags, having previously spent his rookie season in their practice squad. He was waived the following offseason and suited up for the New York Jets, the Cleveland Browns, and the San Francisco 49ers before returning to Jacksonville last year. The Northwestern product has appeared in 33 games with eight starts — all of them with the Browns — over the last three seasons.

For the initial 53-man roster, the Jags had listed interior offensive lineman Cole Van Lanen at right tackle but they didn't truly have a true backup at offensive tackle. Then again, head coach Doug Pederson said during the preseason that Hance would be the team's swing tackle "if it were Week 1". Thus, the news that the Jaguars signed him to the active roster comes as no surprise.

For his part, Blackson was a fourth-round pick in the 2014 draft by the Tennessee Titans who has spent time with the New England Patriots, Houston Texans, the Arizona Cardinals, the Chicago Bears, and the Baltimore Ravens. Throughout his career, he's played 117 games with 42 starts. He'll add depth in the defensive trenches while Hamilton recovers from the non-football back injury he suffered not long ago.

Blake Hance and Angelo Blackson give the Jaguars depth at crucial positions

Neither signing was particularly surprising. The Jags carried DaVon Hamilton and Cooper Hodges in the initial active roster because they wanted to place both on short IR. They can come back in four weeks. Had they landed on IR before the waiver period Wednesday, Hamilton and Hodges would have had to remain there the full year, like Josh Wells, who was placed on the list after the preseason and will miss the year.

Barring injuries, neither Hance nor Blackson will get much playing time. In fact, they could both get the boot later in the season.

The Jaguars will rely on Adam Gotsis and Jeremiah Ledbetter to fill the void during Hamilton's stay on IR. Hamilton, a third-round pick in the 2020 draft pick, got a three-year extension worth $34 million in April and mostly lined up at defensive end in the summer after playing nose tackle the previous two years.

By signing Blackson and Hance, they've added depth to a couple of positions of need. Expect them to keep tweaking their roster before the 2023 kickoff if they see fit.

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