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Rackley out 3-4 weeks

Posted Aug 1, 2012

Veteran Jason Spitz will work at left guard in place of second-year veteran, Mularkey says.

The Jaguars have sustained their first front-line training camp injury.

Will Rackley, a starting left guard, likely will miss much of the next month with a high-ankle sprain to his right ankle, Jaguars Head Coach Mike Mularkey said Wednesday.

Rackley sustained the injury in the team’s first training camp practice in full pads Tuesday when his ankle was rolled.

“He’s probably three-to-four weeks,” Mularkey said.

Rackley, a third-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft from Lehigh, started 14 games at left guard as a rookie. He and quarterback Blaine Gabbert were the lone Jaguars rookies to start 14 or more games last season.

Mularkey said Rackley will be replaced in the lineup for now by veteran guard Jason Spitz.

“I’m excited about it,” Spitz said. “It’s my job as a football player to do what the coaches tell you to do – where you line up, how you do what you do. It’s my job to get there and execute.”

Spitz (6-feet-3, 298 pounds), who signed with the team as an unrestricted free agent from Green Bay last offseason, was active in 10 games last season with no starts. He was inactive for six games with a quad injury last season.

“It was a reoccurring problem,” said Spitz, a seventh-year veteran from Louisville who played high school football locally at the Bolles School. “It’s always frustrating any time you’re not available because you can’t help the team out. That’s a big frustration.

“Injuries are a part of the game. You’ve just got to roll with the punches.”

Spitz, originally a third-round selection by Green Bay in 2006, started 54 of 75 games for the Packers from 2006-2010. He started 41 games over his first three seasons.

He said on Wednesday the quad issue is behind him and he’s fully healthy.

Mularkey also said left tackle Eugene Monroe likely will not participate in the team’s scrimmage on Friday. He has experienced swelling in his knee, and has worked on the side during the team’s full-pads practice the last two days.

“We’re going to be smart with him and get through this week,” Mularkey said. “We’re going to let that thing calm down.”

With Monroe and Rackley out Wednesday, Guy Whimper worked at left tackle with Spitz at left guard and veteran Brad Meester at center. Rookie center Mike Brewster took snaps at right guard, with veteran Eben Britton at right tackle.

Veteran starting right guard Uche Nwaneri is expected to be ready to work in full-contact Thursday after coming off the Physically Unable to Perform list Monday.

“We’d like to have them (the starting offensive line) together, but it is what it is,” Mularkey said. “In this game, you have to be ready and the next guy has to step up. You have to have that continuity. That’s what we’re doing.”

Mularkey said the group worked well together early this week as it has played through several injuries. On Tuesday, the group worked for a short time with just one starter, Britton, in the lineup.

“We had a productive practice,” Mularkey said. “We had solid protection with four guys who are not the starters, so that’s not a bad thing. That was a good thing that showed up.”

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