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Is Jamaal Charles Jaguars solution at backup running back?

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Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
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Desperate for running back depth in health, the Jaguars and former Chiefs star in the backfield, Jamaal Charles, maybe a perfect marriage.

Reports Tuesday morning are that the Jags are working out Charles today in North Florida:

The former third-round pick of the Chiefs is a two-time All-Pro in his previous 10 seasons. However, he has battled knee injuries including, two ACL tears in his NFL career.

Charles was most recently a Denver Bronco a year ago (above), but carried the ball only 69 times in 14 games during a dismal Denver season.

Charles, who will be 32 later this season, has not been in an NFL training camp or with a team to start the year. He has been working out on his own, and waiting for an opportunity. Charles attended the Texas-Oklahoma game Saturday in Dallas rooting on his Longhorns from the sideline.

With Leonard Fournette out of action with his injured hamstring that has kept him out of three of the last four games and will likely keep him out of the Dallas game this week, the Jaguars are in dire straits for running back help.

Veteran T.J. Yeldon was on the field for more than 85% of their plays on Sunday. And while he’s done a decent job carrying the football, he’s not an explosive game-changing back. And most importantly, Yeldon needs a break every now and then from a veteran that can be counted on.

Back to Charles’s knee injuries, he suffered a torn ACL in the left knee in 2011, but came back strong after that to have a 1,500 yard rushing season for Kansas City in 2012. However, in 2015 he tore the ACL in his right knee in a week five game against the Bears and was placed on injured reserve.

Charles was not fully recovered from the ACL until the start of the 2016 season and played in only three games for the Chiefs that year. He ended up having an injured meniscus, as well and was placed on injured reserve again in November of 2016.

He signed a one-year 3.75 million contract with the Broncos for last year but platooned on a bad Denver team. And, the Broncos chose not to re-sign him.

UPDATE: The Jaguars must have been impressed in the workout. Charles has agreed to a one year deal:

It’s likely that Charles will be active for the Jaguars game at AT&T Stadium Sunday afternoon.

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Jaguars injury woes continue- LB Myles Jack to IR

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Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports
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The bad news on the injury front for the Jaguars continued on Thursday, when they placed star linebacker Myles Jack on injured reserve.

The NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport had the news first:

Jack missed Sunday’s game against the Buccaneers with a knee injury that was believed to be a sprain suffered in the loss to the Colts two weeks ago. However, the move to IR indicates it may be more serious.

The Jaguars season has unraveled over the course of the last month with injuries to their defense and the team trading away perennial Pro Bowl defensive back Jalen Ramsey to the Rams. Jacksonville had already put DT Marcel Dareus on IR, All-Pro defensive tackle Calais Campbell has been trying to battle through a bad back and DB Tony Harrison has still not been cleared with a concussion.

Coach Doug Marrone has expressed the last two weeks that it has been a struggle for his defense with all of the injuries mounting late in the year.

As for Jack, he had settled in the middle linebacker roll after Telvin Smith abruptly retired in May.

Jack has been solid, but not spectacular, in the middle of the defense registering 7 or more tackles in five games this season. However he hasn’t forced a fumble, has only one interception and half of a sack. Jack also has just three tackles-for-loss at a position that often dictates much more output than that.

The former second-round pick out of UCLA had question marks about his knee coming out of college, when the Jaguars took him in the 2016 draft. However, he has answered critics on his durability by being active for all 59 games of his career up until last week.

Jacksonville will use veteran Donald Payne at middle linebacker for now. Payne played significantly last week against the Buccaneers and has been on and off of Jacksonville roster this season.

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Can Jaguars get necessary spark from Gardner Minshew?

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The Jaguars were back on the practice field on Wednesday and have to rally around their rookie QB, Gardner Minshew, to re-ignite their season. And their opponent, may be the perfect for them, too.

Minshew took over in the second half for an ineffective Nick Foles, as Foles committed turnovers on each of Jacksonville’s first three possessions. Now, he’s back as their starter to see if the 4-8 Jags can salvage some games in December.

Now, the 4-win L.A. Chargers come stumbling to North Florida off a dramatic loss in Denver and yet, somehow, have been listed as 2.5-point underdogs by top sports betting sites.

Philip Rivers and the Chargers, new-look defense is coming to Jacksonville to try and move to 5-8 and make a run at a .500 season. In effect, both of these teams’ seasons are all but over, so they are just playing for pride.  And while mathematically, the Jags are not completely out of the AFC South race, yet, let’s be honest … the Titans and Texans are not going to drop four straight games … and it definitely isn’t looking like the Jags are going to win four straight.

Coach Doug Marrone is clearly in trouble and everything they try is not working. There were plenty of games that the Jaguars could have or should have won, but didn’t. And, now they are sitting on the very bottom of the AFC South with few games remaining.

Onto to the matchup.

The Chargers have owned the Jaguars historically, as they have won in two of the last three and seven of the last ten meetings. But right now, this is a pretty good spot for the Jags.

When we look at standard offense on any given Sunday, the L.A. Chargers are about two points better than the Jacksonville Jaguars on average. The Chargers put up 20.33 points per game against the Jags 18.33. It would be nice for Jaguars fans, if the Chargers performed significantly worse on the road, but they don’t.

They are almost exactly the same level of bad whether at home in Los Angeles or out on the road. And unfortunately, for Jags fans who buy tickets to home games, they have let them down at TIAA Field by performing worse in Jacksonville, to the tune of nearly three points per game. They score just 15.83 on their home field.

The yardage stats are comparable in this one, as the Chargers pass for 255.33 per game, while the Jags pass for 242.50. The Chargers rush for 92 yards per game, while the Jags run game with Leonard Fournette has dropped off to 79.67 average, currently.

On defense, the Chargers are a respectable top ten unit (No. 7 in the league) that allows just 18.50 points per game. They hold teams to 212 yards passing and 97.83 yards rushing.

However, that’s where Minshew will put them to the test. He is far more mobile than Foles and got Jacksonville 11 points in the second half Sunday with them driving for more. That is until the rookie’s killer interception at the Tampa Bay goaline midway through the fourth quarter.

So, most of the numbers point the another Jacksonville loss. That said, the Chargers have lost three straight but have shown some flashes of brilliance. So too did Minshew, who won four games in eight tries earlier this year as the fill-in starter.

If you can avoid this game for your “Survivor Pools” do so … If you are a bettor … stay away.

This is a game where anything can happen, especially with “Minshew Mania” back.

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