JACKSONVILLE – The linebacker concern is real.
That was evident quickly when Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone met the media Wednesday morning in advance of the team's home game against the New York Jets Sunday.
The Jaguars sustained a slew of significant injuries at linebacker in a victory over the Cincinnati Bengals Sunday, with three players at the position – Quincy Williams, Leon Jacobs and Najee Goode – all expected to miss practice on Wednesday.
Marrone said all three likely will be doubtful Sunday "even though they're obviously going to try" to play.
"We'll see what happens," Marrone said Wednesday as the Jaguars (3-4) prepared to play the Jets (1-5) at TIAA Bank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
Williams, a rookie who started the season as the starting weak-side linebacker, sustained a hamstring injury against Cincinnati, and Goode – who started the last two games in place of Williams at weak-side linebacker – sustained a turf toe injury. Jacobs, the starting strong-side backer, also sustained a hamstring injury Sunday.
Reserve linebacker D.J. Alexander was placed on injured reserve Tuesday after sustaining a foot injury Sunday.
The Jaguars on Tuesday addressed linebacker by signing two players familiar with the Jaguars' defensive system: former Jaguars linebacker Donald Payne and former Seattle Seahawks linebacker Malcolm Smith, the latter of whom was the Super Bowl Most Valuable Player for Seattle following the 2013 season.
Rookie Joe Giles-Harris was signed from the practice squad Tuesday.
"We've got to do a good job coaching those guys," Marrone said. "We've got to get them up to speed and we've got to get them ready to go."
Left tackle Cam Robinson is expected to miss practice Wednesday after also sustaining a turf-toe injury Sunday.
"He'll be out today [Wednesday] and we'll see what he can do tomorrow," Marrone said, adding that he expects Robinson to be limited Thursday.
Defensive tackle Marcell Dareus is expected to miss practice with a core muscle injury. Dareus traveled to Philadelphia for treatment.
"Then he'll be back, and hopefully he'll be back on the field," Marrone said. "That's our goal. That's what I've talked about with Marcell."
Wide receiver Marqise Lee is expected to practice limited Wednesday after missing Sunday with an ankle injury sustained Week 6 against New Orleans, and wide receiver Dede Westbrook is expected to work limited with a shoulder injury that he has played through in recent weeks.
Guard Andrew Norwell is expected to practice limited Wednesday with an ankle injury.
Cornerback A.J. Bouye is expected to miss practice Wednesday following the birth of his daughter, and defensive end Calais Campbell and center Brandon Linder are expected to miss with scheduled days off.