The Jacksonville Jaguars will have an opportunity to get back in the win column when they welcome the Houston Texans in Week 3. However, there's a chance they could be without wide receiver Zay Jones, who's dealing with a knee injury.
Update: Zay Jones has been ruled out for Sunday's game vs. the Texans.
Jones has missed the last two practices and it looks like he won't suit up Sunday. Head coach Doug Pederson met with the local media Friday and provided injury updates for a handful of players. Regarding Jones, he says the team doesn't want to expose him to further injury.
"Josh Allen did well in practice yesterday. With another good day, with no setbacks, he should be ok," Pederson said. "Foley, the same way. We'll see where he's at today, get him get him moving around. Zay is probably still more day to day. We just got to go see where he's at but I don't want to I don't want to risk anything further with him you know right now at this point but we'll see where he's at."
Jones, who signed a three-year deal with the Jaguars last year, has caught five passes for 55 yards last season. He didn't get a single reception against the Kansas City Chiefs in Week 2 but he's an integral piece of the team's offensive puzzle. Last season, he set new career highs for catches (82) and receptions (823).
The Jaguars are better off not rushing Zay Jones vs. the Texans
All things considered, taking a cautionary approach with Zay Jones is the right thing to do. It doesn't make sense to rush him into action for one game early in the season and run the risk of losing him for an extended period of time. Sure, every game matters, especially one against a divisional opponent, but the Jags have enough in-house options to make up for his absence.
For one, Jacksonville is stacked at wide receiver, and they have several options in case Jones isn't good to go. Jamal Agnew, the team's top returner, could see an increased role on offense in Week 3 but Tim Jones could also step in Jones' place. Also, this could be an opportunity for either Elijah Cooks and Parker Washington to make their NFL debut. Both rookies were inactive the past two weeks, so there's a chance one of them (or both) suit up Sunday.
Another alternative is to use more tight end sets. Evan Engram already has a big role on offense but the coaching staff could get rookie Brenton Strange or third-year pro Luke Farrell involved in the game plan.
Not having Zay Jones against the Texans in Week 3 would be less than ideal but the Jaguars have several players ready to step up in case he isn't good to go.