JACKSONVILLE – Senior writer John Oehser examines the Tuesday that was around EverBank Field as the Jaguars began preparing to play the Tennessee Titans at LP Field in Nashville, Tennessee, Thursday at 8:25 p.m.
Roy Miller III won't play again this season.
The veteran nose tackle, a key to the Jaguars' run defense the past four seasons, sustained a torn right Achilles in the second half of a loss to Oakland this past Sunday. He will be placed on injured reserve and is out for the season.
"I feel for him because football is so important to him," Head Coach Gus Bradley said as the Jaguars (2-4) prepared to play the Tennessee Titans (3-4) at Nissan Stadium in Nashville Thursday. "We'll support him and be there with him."
For the Jaguars, it's a huge loss both on and off the field.
"You feel awful for him because you know the type of guy he is, the type of leader he is for this team and what he does for this team," middle linebacker Paul Posluszny said. "You hate to see that happen to outstanding men like Roy."
Miller is key to the Jaguars' defense because he's a top-level nose tackle, and his stoutness occupying offensive lineman is key to allowing Posluszny and weak-side linebacker Telvin Smith clean access to running backs. Abry Jones replaced Miller in the lineup Sunday, and Bradley on Tuesday said Sen'Derrick Marks could play the role moving forward.
Marks since signing with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in 2013 typically has played the more penetrating, play-making three-technique tackle position. He said Tuesday he's fine playing nose.
"I'm used to kicking ass," Marks said with a smile.
Miller has dealt with injuries in several of his Jaguars seasons, playing through a labrum injury in 2013 and a meniscus injury in 2014. He missed two games in 2013 and 2014 and played in all 16 games last season.
"It's tough for Roy," Marks said. "He's been fighting every year. It's tough when you're close to somebody, when you know them personally and know their family. But I know Roy's a fighter. Hopefully he can come back stronger than when he left and come back and be the dominant nose tackle that he is."
Posluszny said replacing Miller will have to be done "by committee."
"We don't have anybody who can fill his shoes and do exactly what he did," Posluszny said. "Abry's going to step up and do a great job. We all know that. We've seen him do it before, but Roy is a special, special player and a special teammate. It's going to be tough. We're going to miss him."
Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson had multiple dropped passes Sunday. In practice this week he has asked that a ball be thrown to him on every repetition – as opposed to having the quarterback throw the ball to just one of several receivers. "That is the kind of competitor he is," quarterback Blake Bortles said. "When you struggle with something or something doesn't go your way you can either ignore it and hope that it doesn't happen again, or you can do something about and go try to make yourself better," Bortles said. "That is what he does." Bradley called Robinson "extremely competitive," adding "his ability to be a receiver, his ability to catch the ball, is outstanding. We see it in practice every day. I think he just has to play, calm things down and execute like he's capable. There's going to be a few drops here and there and just realize that's not who he is and make the plays that he's capable of making."
BACK AT IT
Wide receivers Rashad Greene Sr. and Allen Hurns were among five players listed on the injury report as practicing full Tuesday.
Greene (Achilles) and Hurns (neck/shoulder) had been listed as limited Monday when the team released an injury report despite having just a walkthrough practice that evening. Cornerback Aaron Colvin (toe), tight end Neal Sterling (foot) and Marks also practiced full after being listed as limited Monday.
Cornerback Prince Amukamara (knee) and left tackle Kelvin Beachum (knee) also were listed as limited Tuesday.
Defensive end Jared Odrick (quad) and tight end Julius Thomas (ankle) were the only two Jaguars players not practicing Tuesday.
"If a team loses for a while I bet everyone is probably pretty frustrated. I was fortunate enough to figure out at a young age that fans don't like players, they like winning. … They are going to cheer for you when you are winning and want you to sign autographs and take pictures – and when you are losing they are going to boo you. It is the world we live in and it is what fans do. It is irrelevant to anything that goes on in this building. There are guys here that work their tails off to do everything they can in order to be successful on Sunday."