The Jacksonville Jaguars could have a favorable matchup on defense when they play the San Francisco 49ers in Week 10. Left tackle Trent Williams is dealing with an ankle injury and may not suit up Sunday.
Williams has missed two games this season with the ankle injury. He didn't practice Wednesday and could be a long shot Sunday. During an exchange with the media, head coach Kyle Shanahan said the injury has taken longer than expected to heal.
Williams has had a nagging ankle injury in recent years but he's managed to play at a high level regardless. He's made the Pro Bowl three times since joining the Niners in 2020. He's also earned two First-Team All-Pro designations.
If Williams isn't good to go, Jaylon Moore will take his spot in the lineup. While Moore has fared well in WIlliam's relief, there's a dropoff from Williams to him, so Jaguars outside linebacker Josh Allen could be in a position to make plays in Week 10.
Allen generally lines on the right side, so he would line up against Moore throughout most of the game. This season, Allen has registered nine sacks and 39 pressures. Before the BYE, he was tied for sixth in pressures and ninth in win rate among pass rushers in the NFL.
49ers left guard Aaron Banks also missed practice Wednesday with a toe injury. He has played every game this year but if he sits out Week 10, the left side of the San Francisco offensive line could be at a disadvantage.
Meanwhile, the Jaguars could get a few key players back in time for Sunday. Walker Little, who'll start at left guard, cornerback Tyson Campbell, and safety Andre Cisco have been dealing with injuries but are trending in the right direction.
Even without Trent Williams, the Jaguars will have their hands full vs. the 49ers
Not having to face Trent Williams would give the Jaguars an edge. But even without him, the 49ers offense is loaded with talent. Wide receiver Deebo Samuel is back after missing time with a shoulder fracture. He and Brandon Aijuk could give the Jacksonville secondary trouble. However, San Francisco's biggest threat is All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey.
McCaffrey is leading the NFL in rushing yards with 652 yards and his nine touchdowns are the second-most. Moreover, he's averaging 4.8 yards per carry, so stopping him might be one of the Jaguars' top priorities Sunday. Working in their favor is that they're giving up just 3.6 yards per carry, the fourth-best figure in the league.
On the other hand, Jacksonville cannot devote too many resources to stopping McCaffrey. Otherwise, they run the risk of getting torched by sophomore quarterback Brock Purdy. While he's thrown three interceptions and no touchdowns the last three weeks, he's proven to be an efficient passer in the past.
The Jaguars had a pretty good first half to start the 2023 season. They're now set to embark on what looks to be a tough second half. Beating the 49ers in Week 10 would be a good start.