Jacksonville Jaguars: Injuries Put Hopes for Year Down the Drain

David Nelson@JvilleJaguarsCorrespondent IIIOctober 23, 2012

Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey was dealt a blow with injuries on Sunday
Jaguars coach Mike Mularkey was dealt a blow with injuries on SundayJason O. Watson/Getty Images

As if it wasn't difficult enough to put together a good game, how about putting together a good game while having healthy players?

The Jaguars lost Maurice Jones-Drew and Blaine Gabbert during Sunday's overtime loss to the Oakland Raiders.

Maurice Jones-Drew was injured on the team's first offensive drive and was shortly then seen wearing a boot on his foot and sporting crutches.

Gabbert left the game with the Jaguars up 20-6 and posting solid statistics in the first half; the Jaguars absolutely dominated the Raiders up to that point.

In came Chad Henne, one of the offseason's prized signings with his arm and NFL experience.

Henne looked like Blaine Gabbert of a year ago. 

With absolutely no chemistry with the receivers, Henne found his only friend in Rashad Jennings, who led the team with seven receptions.

Watching the game went from exciting to thinking, "Who will we take with the first overall pick?"

The Jaguars offense collapsed upon Gabbert's exit, and the defense could only do so much with the amount of time that the Raiders offense was allowed on the field in the second half.

Reports came out yesterday that Maurice Jones-Drew will miss at least this week's game vs. the Green Bay Packers and possibly the season, depending on the length of the injury.

Blaine Gabbert's injury was just revealed today to be a torn labrum in his non-throwing shoulder, and it is unclear at this point whether or not surgery is required.

Gabbert has a much better chance of returning before Jones-Drew, but anything is possible until the clarity of the injuries is reported.

With these two guys out, the Jaguars will not only be heading to face their toughest opponent of the year so far, but will now need to scramble to pick up a quarterback and running back that, if called upon, could be ready to go into the game.

Chad Henne may be able to develop a better relationship with his receivers by getting starting reps this week, but I wouldn't expect him to give the Jaguars much of a shot.

Jennings is very capable of carrying the load at running back and is expected to have a much better game than last weekend.

One thing is very clear, in a season where it did not seem like it could get much worse, the Jaguars community was once again wrong.

The healthy Jaguars proved to be a much better team than the Raiders, but the injured Jaguars didn't have a shot.

Now the Jaguars will have to face reality with a new owner who wants to win.

In all likelihood, general manager Gene Smith is on his way out, and the question is becoming, "When?" rather than "if."

With the Carolina Panthers firing their general manager yesterday, the Jaguars will likely have similar thoughts.

There isn't much that can be done to change this team this year, so the Jaguars will have to make the best of what they have.

A couple positives from the Oakland game include Austen Lane and Chris Prosinksi.

Lane and Prosinski both played very well, as Lane was able to help with a pass rush that was finally able to get to the quarterback consistently throughout the game.

Prosinski, filling in for the injured Dwight Lowery, played very well in coverage.

Jeremy Mincey recorded his first sack of the year and Terrance Knighton recorded his second, as well as a forced fumble that the Jaguars recovered.

Offensively, Cecil Shorts was once again a bright spot. 

Shorts is the only Jaguars wide receiver who seems to be capable of the big play, as he caught his third long touchdown of the year.

The Jaguars have been here before—a year ago—when they lost defensive players left and right and before you knew it, they were playing guys the same week they signed them off the streets.

At 1-5, the Jaguars have two tough games coming up, as 1-7 looks to be a possible scenario.

Changes are coming in the Jaguars organization, the question is how drastic will they be?