'Pete' must regain use of hand

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Middle linebacker Mike Peterson will undergo surgery on his broken hand and coach Jack Del Rio said the team released kicker John Carney and re-signed linebacker Jorge Cordova.

Del Rio told reporters on Monday that he wants Peterson to be able to regain use of his injured hand before he'll consider returning Peterson to action. Peterson played with a broken wrist in the 2005 season playoff game and was ineffective.

"He went with a club (bandage) and he wasn't really able to function. How long will it be? We'll have to wait and see. He's going to need surgery," Del Rio said of Peterson, who sustained the injury in the third quarter of the Jaguars' 24-17 win over the visiting San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

Del Rio declined to confirm that rookie Justin Durant will replace Peterson at middle linebacker. Weakside linebacker Daryl Smith played the middle effectively last year when Peterson sustained a season-ending injury in game four.

"He's a good player," Del Rio said of Durant, a second-round pick from Hampton. "He's an aggressive run and hit guy. He's going to be a real good football player."

The Jaguars have been successful in recent years at replacing key players who were lost to injury. This year, they've had to replace starting quarterback David Garrard for three games, starting guard Chris Naeole for the past two games and for the remainder of the year, and center Brad Meester for the first four games of the season. The Jaguars also lost safety Gerald Sensabaugh for the season before it began, and defensive tackle Marcus Stroud has missed two games and must miss two more due to a steroids violation.

"It's not the first time we'll replace somebody and keep on rolling. It's what you have to do as a football team," Del Rio said.

Garrard returned to action against the Chargers and showed no signs of being rusty. He was at his best in completing 15 of 24 passes for two touchdowns, no interceptions and a 114.8 passer rating.

"David gave us a big lift. He was sharp. It's great to have him back," Del Rio said.

Del Rio said running back Maurice Jones-Drew would be awarded a "jackhammer" for, among other hits, his crushing block on Chargers star pass-rusher Shawne Merriman.

Next up for the Jaguars are the Buffalo Bills, who are fresh off a 46-point loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday night.

"People can have bad outings. It doesn't mean you're a bad team. They won four of their last five. They beat us last year because they were the better team that day," Del Rio said.

The Jaguars, 7-3, have won three of their last four games and seven of their last nine. Conventional wisdom would suggest that three more wins would land the Jaguars a playoff berth.

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