Strong safety Donovin Darius will be lost to the Jaguars indefinitely, the result of a hip fracture Darius suffered in the first half of yesterday's 21-3 win over the Steelers.
"I just got some bad news," coach Tom Coughlin said in opening his press conference today. "Donovin Darius has a posterior left hip fracture. I don't have any other information."
The injury wasn't discovered until after Darius began experiencing discomfort Sunday night and early this morning.
Darius played one of the best games of his four-year career yesterday, registering a punt-block in the first half that helped turn the game decidedly in the Jaguars' favor, and intercepting a pass late in the game. His injury did not occur on the punt-block.
"He played most of the game with it. He got hit from behind and his leg was extended," said Coughlin, who must now decide as to how he's going to deploy his safeties.
Rookies Marlon McCree and James Boyd may find themselves in the starting lineup this Sunday in Chicago. If that occurs, McCree is likely to move to strong safety to make room for Boyd at free safety. Or Coughlin might leave McCree at free safety and move recently-acquired Ainsley Battles into Darius' void at strong safety.
"He did not make a mental error at all," Coughlin said of McCree, who made his first pro start yesterday.
Darius was on crutches this morning, less than 24 hours after making the play of the day in the win over visiting Pittsburgh. The Jaguars led 7-3 with 10:30 to play when Darius broke through the middle of the Steelers line and literally tackled punter Josh Miller before he was able to punt the ball. Miller suffered a thigh contusion on the play.
"We thought it would work. We had practiced it," Coughlin said of his punt-block scheme.
Coughlin reported that Tony Boselli suffered a jammed thumb and Gary Walker broke a finger, in the Jaguars' only other injuries. Meanwhile, Alltel Stadium has claimed another anterior cruciate ligament; this one belongs to Steelers wide receiver Will Blackwell, who is lost for the season.
The atmosphere was festive in the Jaguars locker room today. "We enjoyed it last night. We'll enjoy it a little more today, and especially because it was against the Steelers, we'll enjoy it some more tomorrow," Mark Brunell said.
Vic Ketchman is the Senior Editor of Jaguars Inside Report, the official team newspaper of the Jacksonville Jaguars. One-year subscriptions may be purchased by calling 1-888-846-5247.