A Jaguars offense already down key pieces couldn’t afford to lose more. That’s what happened Sunday in a 30-14 loss at Kansas City.
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone announced tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins (core muscle injury) and running back Corey Grant (season-ending foot) would be placed on injured reserve. Marrone said Seferian-Jenkins would require surgery, but could return after eight weeks.
“Corey Grant is out [for the year],” Marrone said. “He’ll [be placed] on injured/reserve. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is going to go on injured/reserve also. That’s it. We’ll have some roster moves coming up that we’re talking about. As soon as that stuff becomes official we’ll get that stuff out. … [Seferian-Jenkins] will be eligible to come back. Corey will not.”
The Jaguars offense has been dismantled by injuries and the season is just a month old.
Here’s the dismal recap:
- Receiver Marqise Lee blew out his knee in the preseason. Lee is quarterback Blake Bortles’ most trusted receiver and the team’s best perimeter blocker.
- Left tackle Cam Robinson tore his ACL in Week 2. Josh Wells replaced him but left Sunday’s game with a groin injury. Marrone described Wells as “week-to-week,” which doesn’t bode well for Sunday’s game at Dallas.
- Running back Leonard Fournette has missed three games with a hamstring injury and isn’t expected to be back anytime soon. He’s yet to play in the second half of any game this season.
Seferian-Jenkins and Grant represent big losses because of their specific skill sets.
Seferian-Jenkins is a quality blocker, the only tight end on the roster who can say that. The Jaguars jumbo personnel without him loses quite a punch because James O’Shaughnessy and Niles Paul are receiving tight ends.
Grant is a speedy role-player who a defense has to account for as a runner and receiver. The Jaguars utilized an exciting look in the preseason with Fournette and Grant in the backfield at the same time. That plan is now blown to smithereens.
The Jaguars have 24 hours before the Dallas week begins on Wednesday to sign or acquire a new running back, blocking tight end and should be exploring left tackle options. It’s October 8. This is panic time for an offense that was at best above-average at full strength.
Jaguars personnel chief Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell have a tall task ahead in keeping the offense afloat with reinforcements.
“I trust the personnel department, Dave, Coach Coughlin and the rest of the pro scouts are doing the best job they can,” Marrone said. “We’re getting things together and getting ready to bring some people in. It’s obvious we have to do that. For me, my thing is schematically what are we doing to do a better job as coaches to put our players in better positions? This way our players have to do a good job of executing and making plays. That’s what it comes to.”
Marrone and his staff will then have to get new players ready to produce on short notice or develop younger players at a much faster pace.
For a 3-2 team with Super-Bowl aspirations, it’s a miserable situation.
“When you add and you’re missing some key players you have to play to the strengths of what they can do,” Marrone said. “It is a challenge for us, but there are teams that go through those same challenges. It’s going to be on us as coaches to do a good job of putting in the right plays, going to the right people and being able to go and execute it.”
There are still 11 more games and already the offense is at its breaking point.
(You can email Hays at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @HaysCarlyon)