Ramsey reaction: "I loved playing with him"

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Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Myles Jack (44), cornerback Jalen Ramsey (20), and defensive back Ronnie Harrison (36) during the national anthem prior to an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018, in Jacksonville, Fla. The Jaguars won 6-0. (Perry Knotts via AP)

JACKSONVILLE – Myles Jack took a professional approach to an emotional day.

When it came to the end of the Jalen Ramsey Era, Jack on Wednesday afternoon was far from alone among Ramsey's now-former Jaguars teammates.

Yes, Ramsey – a two-time Pro Bowl cornerback – will be missed.

But life very much will go on.

"I wish him nothing but the best; I didn't want to see him go," Jack said Wednesday as the Jaguars (2-4) prepared to play the Cincinnati Bengals (0-6) at Paul Brown Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m.

"In the back of my mind, I just figured one of these weeks Jalen was going to be back and we were going to be back playing with him. That's kind of where I was at with it, but we've just got to move on and keep pushing."

This was less than 24 hours after the Jaguars traded Ramsey to the Los Angeles Rams for three draft selections. The Tuesday evening trade came a little more than a month after Ramsey requested a trade, and also came after Ramsey missed three games with a back injury.

"It's been a couple of weeks where you knew it was a possibility," defensive end Calais Campbell said. "When it actually happens, it's one of those things where you like, 'It's one of the parts of the game.' It doesn't happen too often, but it does happen.

"He was a good player, a guy who was fun to be teammates with for a couple of years, but at the end of the day, we've got to focus on what's ahead of us. In my mind, it's kind of like a guy getting injured. You just don't have him. He's not available to you anymore. You just have to move on."

Such was the tone around the Jaguars early Wednesday afternoon.

"It's going to be a little different," said cornerback A.J. Bouye, a starter across from Ramsey since the beginning of a 2017 season in which both players were named Associated Press All-Pro and to the Pro Bowl. "We've been dealing with it the last two weeks. You wish that he was still here, but it's a great opportunity for him as an individual."

Bouye said he texted Ramsey immediately upon hearing the news.

"I wish him nothing but the best," Bouye said. "I told him that and he wished the best for me, too."

The timing of the back injury so soon after the trade request prompted some observers to question the injury's seriousness in recent weeks, and veteran defensive tackle Marcell Dareus provided an element of gallows humor on Wednesday afternoon when he smilingly passed reporters in the locker room and grabbed his lower back with an exaggerated limp.

Other veteran teammates spoke of a player whose talent will be missed.

"I was getting a massage watching Black Mirror when the notification came up on my phone," said Jack, a second-round selection in the same 2016 NFL Draft that brought Ramsey to the Jaguars with the No. 5 overall selection of the first round.

"I thought it was a joke, then I went through Twitter and saw it was for real. I wasn't too happy about it, because that's my teammate and I feel like Jalen's one of the best defensive players in the league. I definitely loved playing with him."

Jack discounted the idea that Ramsey had been a distraction in recent weeks.

"As long as he was in the locker room, he was still part of the team in my eyes," Jack said. "He was just getting his affairs in order. I guess the higher powers made a decision to move on and I guess it's just time to move on."

Nickel corner D.J. Hayden said he was watching a movie Tuesday when he received an alert that Ramsey had been traded. He, too, discounted the idea that Ramsey was a distraction.

"I've always been focused on the guys in the locker room; that's just what it has been," Hayden said. "We were already focused on the 53. J, he just didn't play a couple of games. So be it. You focus on whoever's playing that week. We've already been doing it.

"He asked for a trade. They granted it to him. We hope for the best for him."

The Jaguars received a 2020 first-round selection, a 2021 first-round selection and a 2021 fourth-round selection for Ramsey.

"That's cool, but I'd rather have Jalen than two new guys from a new class," Jack said. "I guess it's give and take. The positive is we got those first-round picks. I'm sure the guys upstairs will make the right picks. …

"You can ask anybody in the locker room: We'd much rather play with Jalen than not have him here, but I guess that was a situation between him and the front office that needed to be resolved, I guess. …"

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