JACKSONVILLE – Let's get to it …
Big on Blake from Philly
Funky, Frennette-ic King O-Zone: During the NFL offseason, the injury reporting requirements are more or less nonexistent. With the news of Jaguars defensive end Dante Fowler Jr. being placed on the physically unable to perform list, when is the soonest we'll hear an official update on his status in the constructs of training camp and league injury reporting rules? Would you be able to explain what those rules are and how they're different from offseason to preseason to Week 1? Thanks! Also, I don't think it's a coincidence that football is in your "Genes." Or that "Gene" is a part of all of us.
Requirements for NFL offseason injury reports aren't "more or less" nonexistent. They're absolutely nonexistent because teams can report whatever they want whenever they want regarding injuries. As far as how injury news becomes official … teams normally announce significant roster statuses a day or two before the official the start of training camp, with PUP players usually being announced during that time. I would therefore expect official word from the Jaguars regarding Fowler being placed on PUP early-to-mid week with players officially reporting Wednesday and practice beginning Thursday. What happens moving forward? Fowler can't participate in practice until he is removed from PUP. Depending on the severity of the situation, that could happen during training camp and/or preseason. If that doesn't happen, Fowler would remain on the regular-season PUP. That would mean he can't play until the sixth regular-season game, with a window during which he can return opening at that time. Teams are not obligated to report injury information until the week of the regular-season opener. After that, injured players are required to be on the injury report each week as the game approaches.
Jose from Mexico
Su casa es mi casa?
Ken from Ponte Vedra Beach, FL
Thursday can't get here soon enough, right?
Sylvester from Douglas, GA
With Dante Fowler Jr. being suspended for the first regular-season game, how do you think that will impact the rotation and the pass rush?
We'll know more as the regular season draws closer. The Jaguars' third pass rusher from the smaller end position was likely to be a big training camp storyline anyway; Fowler's one-game absence makes it a more pressing issue. Early candidates: first-year veterans Hunter Dimick and Carroll Phillips. Though both lack NFL experience, they have shown good potential in a little more than a year with the team. Other options in the rotation would be a heavier dose of rush end Yannick Ngakoue, strong-side end Calais Campbell and backup strong-side end Dawuane Smoot. The Jaguars rotate their linemen enough that one player's absence shouldn't completely disrupt their approach. But make no mistake: Fowler's absence will have an effect. He's not the team's best or most-consistent pass rusher, but neither is he an afterthought. His athleticism, strength and effort level is key to the team's depth on the defensive front. An offense might get Fowler blocked for a while, but at some point during a game he usually breaks through and makes a play. And it's often a potential turnover-forcing play. The constant threat of that is what will be missed in his absence.
Curt from Wilkes-Barre, PA
It's the end of the world as we know it. And I feel fine.
Lenny Bruce is not afraid.
Tyler from Jacksonville
What would happen if boxing was put under the same CTE microscope as the NFL? Would it cease to exist? Oversized inflatable gloves? Rock-em, Sock-em Robot tournaments?
Something like that.
Michael from Port Orange, FL
Why do you keep answering the London questions? The owner has made it clear he wants a game in his favorite place. The profits make him richer and the fans in Jacksonville will continue to be cheated out of a home game. He really doesn't care about cheating the fans out of a home game no matter what excuses are given!
The format for this forum remains the same: fans write me about things; I answer with as much insight as possible. So I suppose I answer these questions for the same reason you continually comment on this topic – because it's a topic of interest to Jaguars fans. And while "cheat" apparently is the operative word of the day, there are facts and realities of operating an NFL franchise: Jacksonville is a small market, and the franchise has had to find creative ways to be successful financially and stable in Jacksonville. One way would be to raise ticket prices dramatically and hope the stadium sells out each week – and another way would be to magically have sponsorship revenue in the Jacksonville market match that of markets with larger corporate bases. Those ways possibly could work – in time. Given the challenges in the short term, the London game has been a way to stabilize the franchise and increase the local revenue stream. That's either cheating the fans of a home regular-season game, or rewarding them with seven more than they would get if there was no team in this market. I suppose it's a matter of perspective.
JK from the Dead Zone
All the horses and all the king's men couldn't put John P. Oehser back together again.
Ryan from Duuuval
Johnny, O - the kids reported Friday, which graciously brings us to the end of the Dead Zone. All I have to say is ... #Moodachay
Wallace from Kissimmee, FL
My breakout player is Keelan Cole? Yours?
I always struggle with questions like this, because I'm never exactly sure what breaking out entails. Must a player go to the Pro Bowl to break out? Must he start making an impact? If it's the latter, a player such as Jaguars wide receiver Keelan Cole couldn't break out in 2018 because he already made an impact and therefore broke out last season. My other choice for a breakout player this season: third-year linebacker Myles Jack, who I believe has a chance to have a Pro Bowl-type season. As far as players who many fans are overlooking who might make a bigger contribution than many expect, how about running back T.J. Yeldon? He was consistently productive when given an opportunity last season and the Jaguars like him enough that their running-back rotation entering training camp is pretty much Leonard Fournette, Yeldon and Corey Grant. Yeldon is going to get significant opportunities this season. His role is going to be clearly-defined. He's in the final year of his contract. Those are a lot of factors to indicate a productive season.
Frank from St. Augustine, FL
According to the Chinese Zodiac the Year of the Rooster was last year. The next time will be in 2029. 2018 is the Year of the Dog. I believe the Jags have plenty of those this year!
Ricky from Arlington
What's your biggest worry entering training camp. It can't all be wine and roses, can it?
I'm not really worried entering camp; whatever's going to happen and go right – or wrong – will happen whether I fret or not. A couple of key points to watch are quarterback Blake Bortles and Campbell. Is Bortles indeed the improving, confident player we saw in the spring? Can he continue his progression? Can the Jaguars' offense continue to improve around him? Regarding Campbell, can he come close to repeating what by any measure was a career year last season? Is he still in his prime? Will age show its effects? I believe both players will be very productive for this team this season because Bortles has shown no signs of slippage in the offseason and because Campbell is a savvy veteran at a position where players can play effectively deep into their 30s. But those players are key, and they are definitely storylines to watch in 2018.
David from Chuluota
O-man - It's no secret that Tom Coughlin likes huge offensive and defensive lineman. Campbell is a mountain of a man at 6-feet-8 and 300 pounds. As heavy as he is, the current Jaguars roster has nearly 20 players that weigh more than him! I'd suggest when the team flies that somebody double checks the weight limit of the plane.
I'll pass this on.
Change from the O-Zone
Where r the archives? With the website format change, ya can't go back to June 2011 and see what you wrote. Bring back the archives, O!
I'm tryin', Change. I'm tryin'.
Karen from Harlan, UK
Hi John, I don't know if I'm the Karen that 'Culligan Fan' is referring to, but I'm happy to sit next to them next time I'm over in Jax.
I have no idea what they're talking about.
Daniel from Jersey City, NJ
O-man … wow, 2011? That time flew by. You are starting to finally grow on me.
This indeed will be Season No. 8 for me covering the Jaguars for Jaguars.com. We get rolling in a big way Wednesday. It's starting. Awesome.