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Darius lost for season


Results of the MRI exam conducted on Donovin Darius' left knee have confirmed that Darius has, indeed, torn the anterior cruciate ligament in that knee and will be lost for the season. Darius was injured during a punt-return play in the second quarter of the Jaguars' 10-3 loss in Indianapolis.

Deke Cooper replaced Darius and was credited with two tackles and a pass-defensed. Cooper had one of the best games of his career in 2003 against the New York Jets, the Jaguars' opponent this week.

The loss of Darius will be felt most in run-defense. He led the Jaguars secondary in tackles in each of the last seven seasons.

"Donovin has been an integral part of our defense since we've been here. Knowing Donovin, he'll still be a part of it, even though he won't be able to play. Deke will have a chance to step up and be a starter in this league. We feel he has starter capability and always has. We don't anticipate a big drop-off," defensive coordinator Mike Smith said.

"When you compare the two, Donovin is probably stronger against the run but Deke is an all-around safety who can play the run and the pass. He made a tackle in that '03 game against Curtis Martin that was outstanding," Smith added.

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