If indications are accurate, Marcus Stroud will be back at tackle next to John Henderson this Sunday and newly-signed Derrick Ransom will be added to the Jaguars' mix of defensive ends.
"I would not rule out using Derrick at end on early downs," coach Jack Del Rio said at Thursday's press conference.
Ransom, a defensive tackle who was released by the Jaguars in final cuts this summer, played with the Kansas City Chiefs from 1998-2002. He was a 16-game starter in '01 and a 10-game starter the following season. On occasion, Ransom played some at left defensive end.
"By signing me at this time, there's obviously a need. I have played some end in the past," Ransom said.
Yeah, you might say there's a need at defensive end. Stroud was moved to end for last Sunday's game in San Diego, but that weakened the Jaguars in the center of their defense so Stroud is likely to move back to the position where he was selected to the Pro Bowl last year.
Ransom is a run-stuffer. All of his starts with the Chiefs were at nose tackle, so what the Jaguars would be seeking from Ransom at defensive end is the ability to help re-establish the team's once-proud run-defense. The Chargers, of course, embarrassed the Jaguars by rushing for 176 yards, the most rushing yards allowed by the Jaguars under Del Rio.
"He played well in camp for us. We had a tough decision at the end. He's the right kind of guy, he's a hard-working guy, he knows our defense, he came close to making our roster," Del Rio said.
Del Rio talked of those defensive ends available; veterans such as Chad Bratzke, Joe Johnson, Regan Upshaw and Kenny Holmes. "We have looked at the list. We have squeezed everything we can out of that list. It's not the time of year. Defensive ends just don't fall out of the sky," Del Rio said.
Ransom, then, became a very comfortable choice: a player with whom the team is familiar and who is capable of playing end and tackle.
Del Rio was criticized for moving Stroud to end, but the coach offered this explanation to reporters on Thursday: "We're going to be aggressive in finding ways to solve problems that pop up. We can't do things in a timid way. It can't be what's popular," Del Rio said.
In other news, tight end George Wrighster (back) remains "probable" on the Jaguars injury report, despite missing practice for the second consecutive day. Tight end Kyle Brady (finger) and fullback Greg Jones (abdomen) are also "probable." Defensive end Lionel Barnes (shoulder), safety Donovin Darius (ankle) and running back LaBrandon Toefield (knee) are questionable.
"(Wednesday) was an excellent practice. The best thing is to get that taste out of your mouth and we did that yesterday," Del Rio said, referring to the loss to San Diego.