JACKSONVILLE – Defensive line health is now a concern.
The extent of that concern remains to be seen, but it figures to be a storyline this week as the Jaguars prepare to travel to Houston for Week 2.
Defensive ends Yannick Ngakoue and Calais Campbell, two of the team’s top defensive players and keys to the pass rush, both were listed on the Jaguars’ pre-practice injury report as not being expected to practice Wednesday.
“We’re banged up up front, and we don’t really know who’s going to be playing up front for us,” Head Coach Doug Marrone said as the Jaguars (0-1) prepared to play the Texans (0-1) in an AFC South game at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, Sunday at 1 p.m.
Ngakoue is listed with a hamstring injury and Campbell is listed with a foot injury.
“I’m going to take it day by day,” Marrone said. “If I sit up here and I say it’s not a concern, that’s bs. If that was the case, we’d list them as resting. It’s always a concern. Sometimes, you have concern with, ‘Hey, am I going to be able to get them on the field?’
“That’s just a small part. The other part is, ‘Now, when I get them on the field, are they going to be ready? That’s the preparation part of it that you don’t get, then the next part is production. Are you concerned about it? Of course. If you sit up here and say you’re not, I don’t think that’s probably accurate.”
Swing tackle Cedric Ogbuehi (hamstring) and tight end Josh Oliver (hamstring also are not expected to practice, with defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (elbow), linebacker Quincy Williams (knee) and left tackle Cam Robinson (knee) listed as being expected to practice. Ogbuehi, Oliver, Robinson and Dareus all missed this past Sunday’s Week 1 loss to Kansas City. Williams, Ngakoue and Campbell sustained injuries against the Chiefs.
Robinson, who missed the final 14 games last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, hyperextended his right knee last Thursday. Marrone said he will test the knee in individual work Wednesday.
“He’s going to be limited and we’ll see how he does in individual,” Marrone said. “That’s what we’ll do today. We’re taking this period by period; that’s probably the best way to look at it. We’re going to look at him in individual and we could shut him down or keep him going. I don’t know how it’s going to be.”
The Jaguars’ practice Wednesday will be their first with rookie Gardner Minshew II as the starting quarterback. Starter Nick Foles is out for at least eight weeks with a broken left clavicle against Kansas City, and Minshew – a Round 6 selection in the 2019 NFL Draft – completed 22 of 25 passes for 275 yards and two touchdowns in the final three quarters.
“It’s always a challenge, because they’re all different,” Marrone said of preparing with Minshew as quarterback instead of Foles. “You can’t get two people who are alike. It’s going to revolve around the quarterback position, so you go through that.”