In Week 9, the Jacksonville Jaguars (1-6) host the Houston Texans (1-6) in their annual Salute to Service game at 1 p.m. at TIAA Bank Field. Both teams are coming off their Bye Week and will face off for the second time this season and the 38th time in the series history. This week's game will be broadcast nationally on CBS and locally on WJAX-47.
Below are some key stats and quotes to get you ready for game day.
SALUTE TO SERVICE: Sunday marks Jacksonville's annual Salute to Service game, honoring our nation's service members, veterans and their families. The Jaguars will recognize the military in numerous ways, including the national anthem performed virtually by the Ceremonial Band from Navy Band Southeast and the starting lineup introduced virtually by veterans of the Wounded Warrior Project.
This year, the Jaguars partnered with TAPS (Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), which provides comfort, care and resources to all those grieving the death of a military loved one. The Jaguars will honor U.S. Army Spc. Kelly Mixon on Sunday. Mixon was an avid marching snare drummer and earned a spot on the Jacksonville Jaguars drumline, the D-Line, prior to his military service. Several Jaguars players will wear Mixon's initials on their helmet decals, including captain WR Chris Conley.
QUOTABLE: "Growing up on an Air Force base, I realized military life is not easy. Being mobile like that and sometimes having to uproot your family is difficult. It is a huge sacrifice. I have a lot of respect for the military and I think it's important to take every opportunity for us to show gratitude for the sacrifice the military makes, for keeping us safe, and for serving." – WRChris Conley
LUTON'S DEBUT: QB Jake Luton is slated to make his first career start this weekend with QB Gardner Minshew IIsidelined with a right thumb injury. The strong-armed rookie from Marysville, Wash. was selected by the Jaguars in the sixth round (189th overall) of the 2020 NFL Draft and played at Oregon State from 2017-19 after beginning his collegiate career at Idaho in 2015 and Ventura Community College in 2016.
He showed an ability to put up points while also making sure he took care of the ball as a senior with the Beavers in 2019 when he threw for 28 TDs to just three INTs. Luton joined Ohio State QB Justin Fields and Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoaas the only players in the NCAA to total 25 or more passing TDs and three or fewer INTs last season.
He is set to become the seventh rookie quarterback in franchise history to start a game and will do so in front of his grandparents, parents and three brothers who are making the trip from the West Coast to TIAA Bank Field to watch him play on Sunday.
QUOTABLE: "It's something that I've always dreamed of since I was a little kid and something I've always really strived for. [I] battled through some things and I've had my journey just like everyone else has, so it's something I take pride in, the journey that I've had and the road it took to get here. Like I said, I'm just excited. I'm proud to be here and ready to get out there and play for the Jaguars." – QB Jake Luton
RECORD-SETTING ROOKIE: Undrafted rookie RBJames Robinson continues to impress as he once again had a stellar performance in Week 7 at the Chargers. He gained 137 scrimmage yards (119 rushing, 18 receiving) and scored two TDs in Los Angeles, marking his fourth game this season with 100-plus scrimmage yards and his second with two TDs.
He leads the Jaguars with 481 rushing yards this season and will also be a valuable target out of the backfield for Luton as his 27 receptions are tied for fifth among NFL running backs in 2020 and the most by a Jaguars running back through their first eight career games in team history. If Robinson totals 46 scrimmage yards in Week 9, he will surpass Broncos RB Phillip Lindsayfor the most scrimmage yards by an undrafted rookie through the first nine weeks of a season.
QUOTABLE:"I knew he was special the first couple days. He was real smooth, real focused. … We stepped into rookie camp, we'd never even met in person, and he knew everything. He knew where he was supposed to be, knew the protections, he knew it all. Once we got pads on, watching him in the blocking drills, I was like, 'Man, this guy's going to be special.' He's stepping up and not only can he run the ball really well, he's blocking linebackers, stepping up in the hole, so he'll do it all. He'll run out of the backfield. I knew pretty early on he was going to be special and he has been and I'm really excited to get to play with him. It will be really cool." – QBJake Luton
WILSON'S WILL: S Jarrod Wilson is slated to make his return to action this weekend after missing Week 7 with a hamstring injury. The fifth-year captain has started in all three games in which he has appeared this season, including the Jaguars' Week 5 contest at Houston. Wilson finished the game with three tackles, one pass defensed and an INT that he returned 48 yards.
This Sunday, Wilson looks to force a turnover in his third consecutive game against the Texans as he posted four tackles and forced a fumble that prevented a TD against Houston in Week 8 in 2019. In nine career games against the Texans, the University of Michigan alumnus has totaled 25 tackles, three passes defensed, one forced fumble and one INT.
QUOTABLE: "For us, we basically tell them, 'Hey, if you play the technique right, you play the coverage right, you're going to have opportunities … Even Jarrod Wilson, when he got his [against Houston], it was nothing but a tip ball and he was playing with great effort getting to the ball. So, I think if you play hard and you play with the right fundamentals, the game is going to come to you and you're going to have opportunities for plays." – DCTodd Wash
ROOKIE TRIO:The Jaguars are expected to start a rookie at quarterback (Jake Luton), running back (James Robinson), and wide receiver (Laviska Shenault Jr.) this Sunday. It will mark the first time the Jaguars have done so since 2014 and only the second time in franchise history.
Robinson has started every game this season, while Luton is expected to start his first and Shenault will be making his seventh start. Shenault has totaled a team-leading 29 receptions for 324 yards and one TD through seven games, marking the second-most receptions by a Jaguars player through their first seven career games.
The University of Colorado product has totaled 179 of his 324 receiving yards after the catch, the second-most yards after catch among rookie wide receivers in the NFL and the most by any Jaguars player. In Week 7 at the Chargers, Shenault showed off his dynamic playmaking ability by turning a 6-yard catch into a 36-yard gain.
Quotable:"I think he's getting healthier and stronger as the season goes on. I think he's someone that when you get the ball in his hands, we've seen him break tackles. He's a big, strong receiver. He's got strong hands. I'm happy with him with how he's doing." – Head Coach Doug Marrone on Shenault