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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars suspend Dante Fowler and Jalen Ramsey after Sunday behavior

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Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
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The Jaguars have serious expectations and hopes for 2018. However, with those expectations come more scrutiny and Sunday at the conclusion of their practice, poor conduct of two of their players caused the team to take action against them.

First, as we wrote earlier Sunday defensive end Dante Fowler instigated a near fight with fellow lineman Yannick Ngakoue at the conclusion of practice. With numerous players involved at trying to separate the two and keep the peace, it was not a good look.

And during the video captured by Phillip Heilman of the Florida Times-Union, you could hear defensive back Jalen Ramsey screaming at him from a distance with profanity to stop taping the incident on his phone.

Well, the Jaguars moved quickly to take action against both of them. First, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport had info on Ramsey’s punishment:

Ramsey sent essentially a threatening tweet at Heilman, that he has since deleted.

Then, the Jaguars confirmed to Heilman that Fowler was also going to be disciplined for this week. And, that will include joint practices and then a Saturday night game with the Vikings.

So, both players were immediately sent a message by VP of Football Tom Coughlin, coach Doug Marrone and the Jaguars organization that they won’t tolerate that kind of conduct.

Interestingly, coming off an All-Pro 2017, Ramsey showed up late to camp after the birth of his daughter, missing four workouts and now will miss several more and the game Saturday.

Fowler had missed all of camp, including game one last Thursday, while on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. He was just activated on Saturday. Sunday was his second practice, and near the end of it he delivered an out of bounds hit on TE James O’Shaughnessy that caused both sides of the ball to react.

This further casts Fowler’s short and long term future into question.

The team already announced earlier in the off season they were not picking up the fifth year option on his rookie deal.

The NFL then suspended Fowler one game under their conduct policy for his no contest plea to assault and battery charges from an incident last summer. Now, he can’t practice this week.

The team is scheduled to be off on Monday and it’s unclear if coach Doug Marrone will still speak with the media or will wait until Tuesday prior to their practice.

Jacksonville Jaguars

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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