With the devastation of flooding from Hurricane and now, Tropical Storm Harvey in Southeast Texas continuing, sports is obviously not a real priority. The Houston Texans already have their final preseason game displaced to Arlington to play the Cowboys at AT&T Stadium Thursday night. Now, their regular season home opener September 10th with the Jaguars is in real doubt, too.
But, the obvious seemingly quick solution of “just switch this home game to Jacksonville and have the Jags come to Houston in November,” isn’t so simple and when you examine closely, isn’t even likely.
Let’s go over it:
Without a doubt, the devastation in Houston isn’t going to be rectified by a week from Sunday. In fact, it will likely be a “state of emergency” for the next couple of weeks or longer. There are hundreds of thousands in the Houston area who are currently displaced and it will be later this week or weekend before many of them return to their homes, etc. to see the flood devastation first hand. Many will be without power throughout this weekend and probably a lot longer.
This doesn’t take into account all of the police/security personnel, EMS/Paramedics, stadium workers, etc. that it takes to put an NFL home game on, most of whom won’t be available because they are needed elsewhere or are greatly affected by the flooding and damage themselves.
In short, it’s near impossible that the Texans would be able to host a home game on September 10th.
And, this doesn’t take into account the awful “optics” for the NFL and the team of trying ramrod the game and having say 17,000 or fewer people hypothetically be there against Jacksonville. And, have backlash about why police and first responders, etc. are at a home football game, while the crisis and devastation are still on going?
So, what to do?
Well, back to our headline. The “swap” with the Jaguars is remote at best for one clear reason: Everbank Field isn’t going to be ready to host an NFL game on September 10th.
Because the Jaguars were scheduled to be gone for week one, Shad Khan and organizers did a deal to have Canadian 80’s rock star, Bryan Adams, play a concert in the stadium Saturday night September 9th. That concert has been promoted for months and isn’t being moved or canceled on a week’s notice.
This means that the stadium and most importantly, the field, will be occupied for at least 72 hours prior to Saturday night September 9th. And, it’s 100% certainty that the turf, with massive concert stage and accompanying equipment sitting on it, will be in rough shape for days after. And this doesn’t take into account the thousands of seats and concert goers who will be all over the field all Saturday night, too.
So, this means trying to play 12-18 hours after the concert on that turf is a virtual impossibility.
In the past, the NFL has considered and even played a second game on Monday Night Football. However, week one, they already have a doubleheader with Saints vs. Vikings and Chargers vs. Broncos scheduled. It is very unlikely that they would let a Texans vs. Jaguars game be a third game on Monday. And, it presupposes that the field would be playable the next night, too.
So, we at F.F.I. see it like this:
The NFL will likely move the game from Houston for the reasons above.
Do the Texans stay in Dallas and possibly play the Jaguars at Jerry’s World for a second straight game there on September 10th? Well, the problem is: the Cowboys are playing on that Sunday night at home. Would the NFL consider letting Houston and Jacksonville play on the field turf at noon local time before clearing the stadium and having the Cowboys and Giants kickoff just after 7 p.m.? Unlikely, but, possible.
Also possible, is that the game could be played in San Antonio’s Alamo Dome 90 minutes to the West of Houston. This is a strong alternative.
Or, as the league has done in the past, maybe there’s another NFL Stadium that available in the region. They did this most recently two years ago when a snow storm in Buffalo forced the Bills and Jets to both scramble to and play in Detroit.
The NFL could entertain the slight possibility that it would be the Jags home game, but played in either Orlando’s Camping World Stadium, which has no NFL tenant or Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, home of the Bucs, while they play in Miami week one.
However, Jacksonville is likely to strongly object to losing their home game, out of their stadium completely, when this is Houston’s and the league’s issue.
While the NFL doesn’t have to make the decision on where to play for several days, just don’t expect it to be in Houston and the home game “flip” with the Jags is remote, as well.
Concern continues for former Jaguars DB Donovin Darius
Former Jaguars first-round pick and star defensive back of the late 90s- early 2000s, Donovan Darius, remains under a mental health watch after being arrested for DUI in North Florida Sunday and, further, concerns that he was suicidal.
ESPN Jaguars reporter Mike Dirocco had more details on the Sunday arrest and later hospitalization of Darius who was a first-round pick of the Jaguars in the 1998:
Former Jacksonville Jaguars safety Donovin Darius ingested numerous pills after being arrested and charged for driving under the influence on Sunday afternoon, per a law enforcement source. Darius was taken to a Jacksonville hospital for a mental health… https://t.co/Sqc3rSzwy7
— Michael DiRocco (@ESPNdirocco) January 27, 2020
According to a police Source, DiRocco reported that Darius had crashed his vehicle around 10 a.m. Sunday and told paramedics that he had ingested 20 – 30 pills trying to kill himself.
Police did find empty pill bottles in Darius’ car and could not follow through with a field sobriety test, as apparently Darius could not stand on his own and was incoherent. Darius was transported to a nearby hospital and is currently being held on Florida’s 72-hour “Baker Act,” which allows authorities out of concern for a person’s well-being or that he’s a danger to others, to hold and evaluate them.
Darius was also charged with misdemeanor DUI, although he didn’t appear in the Duval County Jail.
Darius started 117 games in his nine-year Jaguar career. His biggest season was 2004, where he had 89 tackles recorded five interceptions and recovered four fumbles. Dariuss played in four playoff games all coming in his first two seasons. That included an interception against the New York Jets in Jacksonville’s AFC Divisional round playoff loss 34 – 24.
Darius’ last season with Jacksonville was 2006, where he played in 10 games. Darius played in three games in the 2007 season for the Dolphins before being released and retired after that.
The 44 year old Darius has remained involved in the Jacksonville Community including being part of a sports camp for youth last November:
CALLING ALL BOYS AGES 9-18 | I’m challenging you in a race at my (FREE)30th D.A.R.E to DREAM SPORTS LIFE CAMP that will take place at on Sat. November 16th – 10am -2pm at University of North Florida. JOIN ME for… https://t.co/oqSY3JZMsn
— Donovin Darius (@DonovinDarius) October 31, 2019
Darius was recognized on the field at halftime of the Gator Bowl game at TIAA Bank Field (photo above) back on January 2nd between Tennessee and Indiana.
Duval County records do not yet have a court date yet for Darius, and it will be up to mental health officials to evaluate whether he can safely be released later this week.
Jaguars rookie DE Josh Allen on display in Pro Bowl
This afternoon in Orlando Jacksonville Jaguars rookie first-round pick Josh Allen will get to show NFL fans why he’s one of the best kept secrets on the defensive side of the ball in the league.
Allen will be participating, as a reserve for the AFC Squad in the annual Pro Bowl All-Star Game.
This, as he was a replacement for Kansas City Chiefs defensive lineman Frank Clark, because the Chiefs will be participating in Super Bowl 54 this week. The rookie 7th overall pick out of Kentucky has had a deserving season with 10.5 sacks, which was the most among rookies in the AFC in 2019 and is also a Jaguars single-season rookie record.
Allen also had 22 QB hits and another 11 tackles for loss even during a trying Jacksonville season.
Further, Allen was drafted a year ago by the Jaguars front office of Tom Coughlin and GM Dave Caldwell to be a potential replacement at defensive end for a couple of Jaguars, who may not be around much longer. One of those is their top pass-rusher of the last three seasons Yannick Ngakoue, who is slated to be an unrestricted free agent coming up in March.
Of course Jacksonville could still find a way to re-sign Ngakoue, or even place the “Franchise Tag” on him, if they so desired. That would be a somewhere around an $18-19 million for 2020.
Then, you have fellow veteran pro bowler Calais Campbell who has earned the Pro Bowl honor for the third consecutive year and is arguably the Jaguars best free agent acquisition in team history. Campbell made this year’s AFC Pro Bowl Squad with 6.5 sacks and has the longest current streak of 11 seasons with at least five of them.
However, he is slated to make $14.5 million this season and at his advanced age (he’ll be 34 this fall) may not be worth that salary to Caldwell and the organization.
Jacksonville could elect to restructure Campbell’s contract especially because he is a liter not only are the defense but in their locker room back to Alan he’s certainly has tremendous potential but if the combo oven gokwe and or Campbell aren’t there it would make much more difficulty for him to have a success that he had in 2019.
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