JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars are going on the road Sunday.
That hasn't been a good thing in recent seasons, and Head Coach Doug Pederson knows it must become a better thing. He also knows road games in the NFL are never an easy task.
"It's always a challenge," Pederson said Friday as the Jaguars prepared to play the Washington Commanders at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., in the 2022 regular-season opener.
The Jaguars have lost 17 consecutive road games, last winning on the road with a 20-16 victory over the Oakland Raiders. Sunday's game will be Pederson's first as the Jaguars' head coach, having been hired for the position in February.
"We just keep it about us and not worry about the crowd, the weather, or any of that," Pederson said. "If you just focus on your jobs and what you need to do, I think you can come away with more wins than losses. Everything's a little different, but it's part of it. Part of success every year is how you handle the road."
Pederson on Friday also discussed rookie inside linebacker Devin Lloyd.
Lloyd, the No. 27 overall selection in the 2022 NFL Draft, missed the first three games of the preseason with a hamstring injury before playing in the August 27 preseason finale at Atlanta. Pederson said this week he is expected to start Sunday.
"He's done everything we've asked him to do, and what the trainers have asked him to do," Pederson said. "He's healthy and I think he's back to Devin. You love his athleticism. You love his height. He's long. He's hard to throw balls over in practice. He has been able to bat some things down and do some really good things in practice.
"He just has to continue to do that within the scheme, just understanding his role. He's in a good place mentally and physically he's in a good spot."
Cornerback Darious Williams, who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent in March, is expected start/play a key role after missing all four preseason games while returning from a shoulder issue.
"Healthwise, he's doing really well," Pederson said. "He was cut loose a couple of weeks ago off the injury report. He's in a good place. We kept him out of the last preseason game for a reason. He got some great work up in Atlanta in the joint practice there. We didn't really need to see him make tackles. You just feel comfortable with that.
"He's a smooth operator. He's a smooth DB. He does some good things. He's a smart guy. He fits into the system well. It's just time to go play."
Pederson said the Jaguars' "sixth captain" for Sunday will be left tackle Cam Robinson. The Jaguars have five permanent captains – quarterback Trevor Lawrence (offense), right guard Brandon Scherff (offense), linebacker Foye Oluokun (defense), Josh Allen (defense) and punter Logan Cooke (special teams) – with Pederson choosing a sixth captain on a rotating basis each week. Cam Robinson (OL) this week. He's a good one to start the year with the five," Pederson said. "He's really shown great leadership with the team since being re-signed back in the spring. He has bought in. It hasn't been easy for him, as well, here. He's had some challenges and whatnot, but he's in a good place, so a good person to kick it off with."
Defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi was listed as questionable on the week's final injury report of the week after being listed as practicing limited with a calf injury Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. "I'll say this: He practiced [Thursday]," Pederson said of Fatukasi Friday morning before practice. "He did well, with obviously no setbacks. If we get through today, things look positive." Also Friday: Cam Robinson was listed as practicing limited, but was not listed with a game status and is therefore expected to play.