The injury to Austen Lane this week for the Jaguars is another in a laundry list of incidents that have either touched the national media spotlight or have caused concern amongst the local masses.
According to BigCatCountry.com, Lane, who was expected to challenge for a starting defensive end spot on the opposite side of team sack leader Jeremy Mincey, went down with the injury on August 2 and was helped to the sideline, showing obvious signs of pain, and was not able to put weight on right leg and was carted off the practice field.
The Jaguars have already had issues with their sixth overall rated defensive from last year.
Clint Session, one of the prized free agents from last year, may not play at all this season because he is still recovering from concussions he suffered toward the end of last year.
Tyson Alualu comes into camp having had surgery to clean out both knees so he can play at his full potential.
Defensive tackle Terrance Knighton is still recovering from an offseason night club incident where the fourth-year pro had to have emergency surgery to repair his eye. Knighton has not been cleared to place fully as of yet.
And now the Lane situation. Let’s not even get into the Maurice Jones-Drew debacle because it has nothing to do with the defense. But according to the report online, Lane could be out of action for at least three weeks.
So with that fresh in the minds of the defensive staff (who could have had other free agents signed this season to shore up the front four), here are some who could fill the other end of the defensive front if Lane is not able to give it a go come the start of the regular season.
The most logical choice of all.
The Jaguars did not choose him 38th overall in the April draft to have him sit on the sideline for long periods of time.
Branch has looked freakish in practices (not like Jevon Kearse) and has long arms and speed to burn.
Could he become the Tony Brackens-type player this team has lacked in almost a decade?
Selvie is an interesting player.
At 6'4" and 270, the South Florida player could have been a top-10 draft pick after his junior year at South Florida.
He opted to return to college and did not fare as well his senior season, but Jason Pierre Paul did, and we all know what happened to Paul and the Giants last season.
Still, I think Selvie has a lot to offer this team if his motor continues to run.
When he played last season, he played very well.
Then a knee injury cost him the season (like many Jaguars defenders).
Chick is not a full speed yet, and whether he starts the season on the active roster is still not known.
But if he can play at full speed early on in the year, he gives this team a great pass-rushing weapon on the outside.
At 6'4" and 250 pounds, Morgan is the ideal pass-rusher for defensive coordinator Mel Tucker's offense.
Morgan, a third-year pro, has flashed some moves and talent in camp.
And he could be a surprise player this team can thrive off of.
Could the team get flashy or even risky and try this?
While the third-year veteran is solid, if not spectacular, on the inside, moving him outside may prove to be a stroke of genius.
Alualu played some end in college (California) and could be used in situational pass-rushing plays that would allow him to get to the quarterback from the edge,
If the team tried this, I believe it would be a very effective and unexpected move.