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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags QB Foles returns to face Colts Sunday in key South battle

Abbey Radeka

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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Nick Foles will be making his return to the field with the Jaguars after recovering from the broken collarbone he suffered in the season opener. There’s a lot of hope riding on his return that he can recharge the struggling offense as they head into the playoff race.

Foles spoke with the media on Wednesday and addressed what it’s like reentering into the season midway through, especially going into an ACF south matchup right off the bat.

“Its harder. Guys have been playing for a long time. More is on the line. Offenses and cultures and teams have been developed… That’s the biggest challenge of stepping back in and playing football when it’s been awhile. But I look forward to the challenge because of the guys I get to step into the huddle with and be with on the sidelines”

Foles is reclaiming the starting spot from rookie Gardner Minshew who has done his fair share of not only bringing home a couple of solid wins, but bringing life back to the Jacksonville franchise.

But, Minshew made it easier for Marrone and the Jaguars to make the decision to put him on the bench, when he played poorly and threw a couple of horrible interceptions in the fourth quarter of the 26 – 3 loss to Houston two weeks ago at Wembley Stadium.

In fairness, not much had been going right throughout the day on either side of the ball for the Jaguars in that game, and Minshew had been really good with 13 touchdowns and just 2 interceptions over his previous seven games before London.

Clearly, it’s the safer play for Jaguars to go back to the Super Bowl hero from two years ago in Foles, whom they gave a massive contract to in March.

Jacksonville landed the former Eagles QB  by guaranteeing him $50 million on a four-year contract. That’s the richest deal that the Jags have never given to a quarterback in their 25-year franchise history.

And, they have hoped all along that his veteran leadership and downfield passing arm will provide their offensive some needed help. His efficiency and decisiveness on offense, especially when under pressure, could bring the Jags as much success as he saw in his time in Philadelphia.

According to Pro Football Focus, Foles completed 44 out of 73 of his passes (60.3%) for 566 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions while under pressure. Against the blitz, Foles completed 37 out of 51 (72.5) passes for 457 yards and four touchdowns.

While Minshew put up solid numbers, passing for 2,285 yards, 13 touchdowns and four interceptions in nine total games, he struggles significantly more when under pressure, which is why its safer so go with the vet late in the season.

Foles has been back at practice for about two weeks and had a bye this past weekend to prepare for divisional matchup with the Colts. It will be a huge first test back, as they travel to Indianapolis to try and start a run in a game that will greatly affect playoff chances.

Abbey is a native Floridan who grew up a fan of all Tampa Bay sports teams. She’s recently graduated from Florida State University with a degree in Media Communication Studies. In her time at FSU, she was an In-Game Host for the Basketball and Baseball teams, and reported for Seminole Sports Magazine, producing feature stories that appeared on Fox Sports Sun. She’s excited to share her perspective on all of Florida’s Football teams, especially the Seminoles.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags coach Marrone acknowledged Wednesday he’s in jeopardy

Florida Football Insiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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As the Jaguars 2019 season has spiraled downward, their head coach acknowledged Wednesday that there are likely changes coming in North Florida.

Doug Marrone, in his third full season as the Jags head coach, met with the media prior to Wednesday’s practice:

“We’re all fighting for our jobs. When you look at it from that standpoint, each person has to make their own decision on how they handle those things….It’s a constant microscope in this league, but I think it gets magnified when you are not winning football games,” Marrone said plainly.

It’s no secret that the Jaguars are plummeting. Sunday they were embarrassed again at home, this time by the L.A. Chargers 45 – 10. That was the fifth consecutive decisive loss (by at least 17 points) for a team that was once 4 – 4 and in the conversation are the AFC Wildcard picture.

Yes, there are injuries including the team losing defensive tackle Marcell Dareus and recently linebacker Myles Jack to season-ending IR. The same on offense where WR Marqise Lee never got healthy and made contributions this year. He, too is back on injured reserve.

Further, the team also had to deal with the constant off field distraction and then decided to trade away arguably their best player, defensive back Jalen Ramsey to the LA Rams. Granted, Ramsey wanted out and was trying not to play while the trade was being consummated. Still, this missed him on the field and it was an issue.

Then, there’s the mess on offense, where the Jags offensive line is in shambles and Marrone had to bench high-priced free agent quarterback Nick Foles before last week’s game. That’s because of his ineffective play and lack of mobility to play behind their poor line.

Rookie Gardner Minshew, who had won four games earlier this year, didn’t do much with only 162 yards in the air and a late third-quarter touchdown that only cut the lead to 31 – 10 in the loss Sunday.

Further, running back Leonard Fournette has now been neutralized by the lack of good line play and the inability to get the passing game going. Fournette went from having a good start to the season that included three 100-yard or more games out of four in late September and October, to having five of his last six games where he has run for 50 yards or less.

So, everywhere you look, the Jags are struggling and losing, and owner Shad Khan is expected to make wholesale changes at the end of the year.

But for now, Jacksonville must go out to Oakland this week and try not to be further embarrassed there.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars injury woes continue- LB Myles Jack to IR

Florida Football Insiders

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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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