Jags Offensive Line Can’t Take Any More

How much more can the Jaguars offensive line take?


So far this year, the starting center and leader of the line, Brad Meester tore his biceps in training camp. He’s out at least until October. Richard Collier got shot and is still in the hospital in what Jack Del Rio calls a “touch and go” situation.

Then Sunday, starting left guard Vince Manuwai blew out his ACL and MCL in his right knee. His 2008 season is over. Starting right guard Maurice Williams ruptured his biceps. He’ll miss s significant amount of time, just how much is not yet known.

So here’s what the Jaguars are left with. A left tackle that they tried to replace this pre-season, Khalif Barnes. A left guard (probably Uche Nwaneri), who injured his knee against the Titans, but sucked it up and went back in. A center (Dennis Norman), who went to Princeton to get a computer science degree. A right guard (probably Tutan Reyes), whose full first name is Tutankhamen. Hey, at least Tony Pashos is still at right tackle.

The Jaguars have prided themselves on being one of the most physical teams in the NFL during Jack Del Rio’s tenure. They lost the battle in the trenches badly at Tennessee. Can they handle a motivated Marcus Stroud and the Bills defense that sacked Seattle quarterback Matt Hasselback five times last week?

Fred Taylor called it a great opportunity for guys like Reyes and Nwaneri to prove something this week and in the future.

I’ll call it a serious red flag.

However, if the Jaguars can manage to make it through the next month or so–long enough to get Meester back in the lineup–things could get better. Meester’s return at center would allow Dennis Norman to move to guard. That would make the line stronger. On the other hand, if the Jaguars were to lose a tackle now, they would be in big trouble.

By the way, the Jaguars were down to only five healthy linemen on Sunday in Tennesse. If they lost another guy what would happen?

“We’d end up moving a tight end in, or a defensive tackle,” said Del Rio.”You’re in emergency mode if you go three deep in any position.”

Cole’s Jags Audio of the Day

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