Jack Del Rio was awaiting confirmation of what is thought to be a ruptured Achilles tendon injury Reggie Hayward sustained against the Cowboys on Sunday. The Jaguars could announce a roster addition as soon as later today.
"I consider Rob Meier a fifth starter for us. My first thought is to put Rob Meier at left end and leave him there," Del Rio said of his plan for replacing Hayward at left defensive end.
"Any time you lose somebody it affects you. You have to adjust. We have players ready to step in," Del Rio added.
Del Rio met with reporters on Monday afternoon and Hayward's injury was the only downer of the day. Everything else about Monday was upbeat.
Why not? The Jaguars won their season-opener on Sunday, a 24-17, come-from-behind victory over the visiting Dallas Cowboys.
"The staff did a nice job getting the players settled down. We had some adjustments made. I thought we showed a little more maturity and poise in an adverse situation. I like the toughness I saw, both physical and mental," Del Rio said.
Dallas went out to a 10-0 lead, moving quickly to scores in its first two possessions. At the same time the Jaguars defense struggled to keep the Cowboys from gaining a first down, the Jaguars offense struggled to make a first down. Then, in the second quarter, momentum switched sides and the Jaguars kept it the rest of the way.
"A big concern for all of us coaches at this time of the year is conditioning. We played our best football as the game wore on. The conditioning was good," Del Rio said. "When you get tired, penalties occur and we didn't have that."
The Jaguars only had two penalties for 41 yards. The Cowboys were penalized nine times for 93 yards.
Del Rio praised quarterback Byron Leftwich and his wide receivers: Ernest Wilford, Matt Jones and Reggie Williams.
"The efficiency of Byron was just as good on tape. All three of our wide receivers played well," Del Rio said, adding that the retirement of Jimmy Smith has allowed for development of the young receivers.
"In some ways it's helped Byron see everybody. The balls Jimmy caught last year are going to go to somebody. New stars emerge," Del Rio said.
The coach also praised the play of his offensive line: "I thought it was solid. Byron was given good protection. It's a good start," Del Rio said.