The Jaguars have lost middle linebacker Mike Peterson for the season to a torn pectoral muscle. Peterson sustained the injury early in the Jaguars' 41-0 win over the Jets on Sunday at Alltel Stadium.
Coach Jack Del Rio made the announcement to the media at a press conference on Monday afternoon. Del Rio had learned of the Peterson diagnosis just prior to meeting with reporters.
"That's a blow and it's another blow for us to overcome," Del Rio told reporters. "I feel bad for Mike."
Del Rio wasn't certain how Peterson sustained the injury and wasn't sure when it happened. Del Rio speculated Peterson may have stayed in the game a play or two after incurring the injury.
Tony Gilbert replaced Peterson and Del Rio gave Gilbert high marks for his performance, which included three tackles. Gilbert, Daryl Smith, Nick Greisen and Brian Iwuh have all worked at middle linebacker.
Rookie third-round pick Clint Ingram got his first significant playing time of the season at outside linebacker. Based on Ingram's progress, Smith could be moved from outside linebacker to middle linebacker to make room for Ingram.
"He played good. He brought some energy. He has some quickness," Del Rio said of Ingram.
"I can't tell you who's going to do it because I don't know yet," Del Rio said about a replacement for Peterson.
Peterson has led the Jaguars in tackles since joining the team in 2003. He's the AFC's leading tackler among linebackers since 2002 and enjoyed the best season of his career last year. Peterson hoped to crack the Pro-Bowl roster this season.
"What we do is find a way. We're going to carry on as a football team. We're not going to ask anybody to feel sorry for us. We'll pull together as a football team," Del Rio said.
The Jaguars had previously lost defensive end Reggie Hayward and fullback Greg Jones for the season. Del Rio hoped to use the bye week to get players such as Marcus Stroud and Matt Jones back to full health.
"It doesn't make anything easier. We'll rally around the guys who are playing. We'll do all we can to fill in the gap and carry on," Del Rio said.
When asked if the Jaguars might trade for a linebacker, as they did a year ago, Del Rio added: "It's always possible. We'll always look. My gut is we've got pretty good depth here and we'll be forced to play our depth and they'll do well."