As conspiracy theories go, this one ranks right up there with JFK. How did Byron Leftwich really injure his ankle? Does Leftwich, in fact, have an ankle injury?
Here's the "Ketchman Commission's" report.
It is the opinion of the "Ketchman Commission" that Leftwich does, in fact, have an ankle injury. We know that because we saw him struggle to play on that injured ankle three weeks ago in Houston.
Details about the injury are sketchy and will require more investigation. Leftwich says he injured the ankle in Washington on Oct. 1. Coach Jack Del Rio has concurred but Del Rio will not divulge specific details of the injury. He says that information must come from Leftwich – medical information privilege, you know – and when asked on Wednesday if he would provide details of his injury, Leftwich said: "I won't." He would only say that the injury is "nothing major."
Del Rio provided the best information to date on Monday when he told reporters Leftwich's ankle is likely to require clean-out surgery and that the injury, which limits Leftwich to function at "85-90 percent" of his capacity, will not improve until Leftwich has "a long time" to recover. Leftwich confirmed on Wednesday that he is at "90 percent," then downgraded himself to "85 percent" on Thursday. Del Rio maintains Leftwich as "probable" on the Jaguars injury report, though it's likely Leftwich will be the team's "third quarterback" this Sunday for the third consecutive week.
These are the facts, folks, just the facts.
As a result of Leftwich's injury, Del Rio has made David Garrard the team's starting quarterback. Garrard will be the starting quarterback for the third consecutive game this Sunday and Del Rio confirmed on Monday that it's likely Garrard will remain in that capacity, possibly through the end of the season, because Leftwich's ankle is not expected to experience a full recovery until the season is over. It's important to note, however, that Leftwich remains number one at quarterback on the Jaguars depth chart.
All along, Del Rio has maintained that Leftwich is the team's official "starting quarterback" and has said Leftwich would be returned to the starting lineup if and when his ankle allows him to play at something closer to his full talents. Del Rio's claim, of course, can not be proven until Leftwich returns to full health, which is unlikely to happen until after the season and following surgery and an extended recovery period.
Just the facts, folks, just the facts.
It is the findings of the "Ketchman Commission" that the situation is what it is and we're all going to have to wait until next March to get the hard answers we crave. At that time, Leftwich should be fully recovered, the Jaguars will have all of the information they need to make a decision on Garrard's future with the team, and the first-day-of-the-league-calendar-year deadline for trading will have arrived and the Jaguars will be free to resolve the situation at quarterback permanently. That resolution will provide the answers we seek.
Those are the facts. Now, here are 10 things the Jaguars have to do to beat the Houston Texans.
- Stop Andre Johnson—That may be the only thing the Jaguars have to do to beat the Texans.
- Take step three—Garrard has progressed nicely from step one against the Eagles to step two against the Titans.
- Feature Fred—Taylor's on a roll. When he has gotten hot like this in the past, he has carried this team.
- Catch the ball—There were way too many dropped passes against the Titans.
- Rest, if you can—The Jaguars have injured players who need time off. It's important to get a lead early and rest players such as John Henderson and Rashean Mathis.
- Feel it in the air—This is November. This is the real football season. If you wanna do something in January, you start doing it now.
- Embrace the identity—With Garrard at quarterback, the Jaguars have established a run-the-ball/stop-the-run style of play. They are winning the battle of field position and turnovers. That's good stuff.
- Be brave against the cold—Temperatures are supposed to dip into the low-70's on Sunday. The Jaguars need their fans to bundle up and be there.
- Go ahead, take a peek—There's nothing wrong with a little scoreboard watching at this time of the year. It helps pique the interest.
- Blow 'em out early—For the fans' sake, in case it rains.