The Jaguars will have a second representative this weekend in Orlando at the Pro Bowl, as defensive end Calais Campbell was named as an injury replacement for the AFC Monday afternoon.
Campbell will be replacing Houston Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt on the AFC Squad, the Jagauars announced online:
The Mayor is headed to the #ProBowl
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) January 21, 2019
Even though the Jaguars fell apart at 5 – 11 a year after being a 2017 darling that won the division and two playoff games, Campbell was still outstanding this past season. He finished with 53 solo tackles, 20 of them for losses and another 10.5 sacks.
Campbell’s 20 tackles-for-loss were the third most in the NFL this year and his 25 total sacks the last two seasons have been impressive. He is the first Jaguar to have double-digit sacks in back-to-back years and one of only eight NFL players to accomplish that feat in 2017-18.
He told the team website:
“I am grateful for the opportunity to represent my family, the Jaguars organization, my teammates, my coaches and all of our incredible fans at this year’s Pro Bowl,” said Campbell. “Although this season didn’t go as any of us had planned, the Pro Bowl provides one final opportunity to throw on the pads and lace up the cleats before turning the page to a new chapter. I’m grateful to be returning to Jacksonville for the 2019 season and I know that we have the people and the mentality to get this turned around and bring playoff football back to Duval County.”
Campbell’s leadership in the locker room was vital during the turnaround of 2017, as he came over as a free agent from the Arizona Cardinals. Campbell mentored young defensive lineman like Yannick Ngakoue, Dante Fowler (who was traded to the Rams in October) and Marcell Dareus, as the Jags defense became one of the best in the NFL.
Clearly, all of that unraveled starting in training camp, and then with the losing in the middle of the regular season, but still Campbell’s solid play continued throughout most of the year on a bad team.
Teammate Jalen Ramsey was voted as a Pro Bowl starter in the balloting in December for the game that will be played Sunday afternoon at Camping World Stadium.
Jags WR Marqise Lee returns to practice
After losing veteran Alfred Blue in the first half of the 24–10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury, the Jaguars are looking for offensive depth. In some fortunate news, WR Marqise Lee is off of the PUP list and has begun practicing today, roughly one year after suffering from knee damage that sidelined him for the entire 2018 season.
Head coach Doug Marrone made the announcement before practice on Saturday.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 17, 2019
First Coast news reporter Ben Murphy got a video of Lee at practice receiving a pass from QB Nick Foles.
— Ben Murphy (@BenMurphyTV) August 17, 2019
Last year, Lee was injured in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Falcons. He was hit by reserve defensive back Damontae Kazee on this play after a reception.
— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) August 25, 2018
Lee suffered a torn ACL and went on injured reserve missing the entire season.
Lee became more prominent in Jacksonville’s pass offense in 2017 with 56 catches for 702 yards and three TDs. The Jags are surely going to rely on him this season which could mean he’ll see the field a bit in their third preseason game to get him readjusted to competitive game play.
However, they might not want to risk another potential injury before the season begins. We could see it going either way. We do know that he’ll be a great weapon for Nick Foles to utilize this season.
The return of Lee is coming off the heels of some other good news for the Jags announced earlier this week. Starting left tackle Cam Robinson was also removed from the PUP list on Monday after suffering a torn ACL in Week 2 last season. He has since made enough progress participate in some individual drills and should be ready, along with Lee, for their season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In other injury-related news, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Leonard Fournette, backed up by Thomas Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.
Jaguars searching for RB depth after second preseason game
With preseason game number two in the books, it’s apparent the Jaguars have real issues with running back depth due to injury. This after veteran Alfred Blue left the first half of the 24 – 10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury and did not return.
Blue carried the ball four times for just five yards has Jacksonville offense once again sputtered behind a makeshift offensive line. Coach Doug Marrone was so concerned about that line situation and their ability to protect/block that starting quarterback Nick Foles and running back Leonard Fournette never saw the field for a single play during Thursday night.
That means that veteran at Thomas Rawls (above Thursday) was called upon to carry the ball a little more, and he did so, seven times for 19 yards including a long run of 11 playing in the first half.
Rawls is a 5th year veteran who had some modest success with the Seahawks, including rushing for 830 yards his rookie year in 2015 with a 5.6 yard per carry average. His numbers tapered off in 2016 – 17 with ankle and foot injuries, as he only played in 21 games in those two years. Rawls was later released and picked up by the Bengals, but injured again last season, and never carried the ball in Cincinnati.
Obviously, the Jaguars are wanting to implement Fournette, as the primary ball carrier, but they will need someone else to spell him on a series or two. Also, Fournette has had durability questions, as he missed parts or all of eight games last year with a hamstring injury.
The Jags were also hoping to bring along Temple rookie running back Ryquell Armstead, but after he carried eight times for 22 yards last week, he suffered a concussion in the preseason opening loss to the Ravens. Armstead hasn’t practiced since, and is still being evaluated with no further update Thursday.
Speaking of updates, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Fournette, backed up by Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.