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Manuwai lost for the season


One game into the 2008 season, the Jaguars are being forced to reconstruct the interior of their offensive line.

Coach Jack Del Rio announced on Monday that Vince Manuwai is lost for the season and a decision on Mo Williams remains to be made. Manuwai sustained a torn ACL in the second half of Sunday's loss in Tennessee and will undergo knee reconstruction surgery. Williams ruptured his biceps in pregame warmups on Sunday and is also a candidate for the injured reserve list.

"We'll have to sort through that and decide what's the best thing going forward with Mo," Del Rio said. "We know we're going to have to bring some people in, bring them up to speed as soon as possible, plug them in and keep rolling."

Del Rio said guard Chris Liwienski, who was waived by the Jaguars on Aug. 25, is likely to be re-signed by the team. Another offensive lineman is likely to be added to the roster.

Manuwai represents a significant loss. He was the main force in the team's run-blocking.

"He's a powerful player. He's a big part of our run game. He moves people," Del Rio said of Manuwai, who has missed just one game due to injury in his six-year career.

The Jaguars hold out hope Williams could return to action, but the team has already made room on its active roster for another offensive lineman, center Brad Meester, who is recovering from a torn biceps and not expected to return to action until midseason.

Uche Nwaneri replaced Williams in the Jaguars' second offensive series on Sunday, but Nwaneri had to leave the game with a knee sprain within a few plays. Nwaneri later returned to the game and Del Rio said he will likely be one of the two starting guards on Sunday against the Buffalo Bills. Tutan Reyes is expected to be the other starting guard. Nwaneri and Reyes were at the guard positions when Sunday's game ended.

David Garrard was sacked seven times and the Jaguars managed only 33 yards rushing. The Bills' defensive front similarly dominated Seattle in Buffalo's opening-day win over the Seahawks.

"They've got a real good program going up there in Buffalo," Del Rio said of the Bills, to whom the Jaguars traded defensive tackle Marcus Stroud during the offseason. Stroud will no doubt be motivated to play hard against his former team in Stroud's return to Jacksonville this Sunday.

"We're one game into the season. In order to run the ball and throw the ball, it starts with the guys up front. We're going to get them coached up as quickly as possible and we expect to do well," Del Rio said.

Garrard has come under criticism for holding the ball too long against the Titans. It might have been made necessary by the need to keep extra blockers in the backfield, thus limiting the number of receivers in the passing lanes.

"There were times in the game when David was trying to do too much. We'd like him not to take the abuse. We'd prefer to have the ball thrown away," Del Rio said.

The Jaguars defense allowed 137 yards rushing, but Del Rio wasn't completely dissatisfied.

"We had a couple of misfits that allowed more room than we'd like to give. They'd get 10-12 yards and they'd feel pretty good about the run," Del Rio said.

The big play of the game for the Titans was a 44-yard gain on a check-down pass from Kerry Collins, who had just replaced Vince Young at quarterback, to tight end Bo Scaife. The Jaguars were in an all-out blitz.

"I'm not going to question play-calling," Del Rio said. "Whatever we call we have to execute. That's what's most important."

This week, what's most important is finding roster replacements for Manuwai and Williams.

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