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Jacksonville Jaguars

With Marqise Lee injury, getting Dez Bryant isn’t so simple for Jaguars

Florida Football Insiders



Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

It’s certainly a juicy version of NFL “connect the dots.” The Jaguars lost wide receiver Marqise Lee for the season, because of an awful hit on his knee in their Saturday night preseason game with the Falcons.

The Jags made it official on Monday morning, that Lee tore a knee ligament (believed to be his ACL) and is going on injured reserve.

And now, in need of a veteran who can make an impact, most fans would want the team to pursue former Cowboys star, Dez Bryant.

Here’s the reality, even if you are comfortable with the selfish antics and locker room drama that the former Dallas Pro Bowler will assuredly bring, you still may not be able to convince him to come to North Florida.

Primarily, there’ another team, the Browns, who are very publicly flirting with Bryant already.

As shown extensively on last Tuesday night’s edition of HBO “Hard Knocks,” the Browns had Bryant in their building last weekend.

This is because, a. they are the Browns and they are dysfunctional and have been bad for going on fifteen years and b. Cleveland had already traded former 2016 #1 pick Corey Coleman and was without Josh Gordon for personal reasons for the first three weeks of training camp.

Gordon just came back, but is already experiencing tightness in his hamstring in his initial team workouts.

Now, as “Hard Knocks” left off last Tuesday, Bryant walked out of the Browns facility without agreeing to a deal. And as of Sunday morning, he still doesn’t have one with them.

Yet, that doesn’t mean that the sides won’t agree, shortly.

And that’s the issue for the Jaguars and what’s in Bryant’s favor.

While Jacksonville may have a void with Lee out for an extended period of time. Getting Bryant to seriously consider, much less agree, to come to the Jags will mean they have convince him and probably out bid the Browns, in terms of guaranteed money and overall price.

The Jaguars reportedly have around $11 million, give or take, under their cap headed to September.

However, it’s also important to remember that most teams will leave several million or more available for situations like this one- a need because of injury. They also leave it available to rework other deals and give immediate guaranteed money for 2018. And the Jags may be plotting to do that, as well.

Cleveland meanwhile, reportedly, has over $50 million to spend for 2018 and can obviously, give Dez Bryant much in the short term.

So, it’s not just as simple as, bring him and get him to agree.

No, this Dez “Soap Opera” contains another team, and there could be still a silent third team that he’s also been talking to or may soon be talking to, as well.

Then, again, no one may sign Bryant, as the season begins.

It’s all in play for the former Cowboy and his representatives.

Stay tuned.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. D.Allen

    August 26, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    Most that was written makes ZERO sense. Bryant’s toughness could very well make Fournette even better and should run off on Bortles. Heck…. it will make the offense fought which will make the offense a tougher unit…. and that will give that already good defense some additional energy!(isn’t that scary) I haven’t even mentioned the playmaking ability(run after the catch) he will bring. Whatever it is… it will be better than what Lee brings to the table!!!!

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Titans smother Jaguars in low scoring win

Florida Football Insiders



Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

It’s not a game that will go in “the Time Capsule” for NFL fans to watch decades from now, but Tennessee’s recent Mastery over the Jaguars continued Sunday with an ugly 9 – 6 win.

Both defenses played hard and played well, but in the end, the third of three Ryan Succop field goals with just over six minutes remaining was the difference, as Tennessee handed the Jaguars their first loss of 2018.

The Titans did not start franchise quarterback Marcus Mariota who has still been battling nerve problems from his elbow after a hit in the week one lost Miami. However, Mariota was forced into duty, when backup quarterback Blaine Gabbert suffered a concussion in the first quarter and could not return.

Mariota was not particularly effective finishing just 12 – 18 for 100 yards and did rush for another 51 yards for the game.

Speaking of not effective, the Jaguar offense would also qualify in that category. Playing for the second straight game without Leonard Fournette due to his injured hamstring, Jacksonville mustered only six first downs, 100 yards and 3 points in the first half.

The second half was about ball control and time-consuming drives. And Jacksonville punted twice and had a Josh Lambo field goal, but it was not nearly enough.

Blake Bortles, off of a four-touchdown game against New England last week, was mostly ineffective at sustaining drives, must less getting them in the end zone. He was 21 – 34, but for 155 yards only.

Backup running back TJ Yeldon carried seven times for 44 yards and third string running back Corey Grant 6 times for 11 yards. And, the credit goes to Tennessee’s defense, which smothered Jacksonville for much of the day at TIAA Bank Field by forcing eight punts for the game.

With the road win, the Titans assumes first place in the AFC South on the tiebreaker over the Jaguars, which combined with their season sweep last year means they’ve beaten Jacksonville three straight times.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Gameday- Jaguars host Titans in AFC South showdown

Florida Football Insiders



Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Who: Jaguars (2-0) vs. Titans (1-1)

Where: TIAA Bank Field, Jacksonville

When: Sunday 1 p.m.

Spread: Jaguars by 9 1/2 (Courtesty

The 2-0 Jaguars are ready to play host to AFC South rival Tennessee on Sunday and try to break the Titans 2017 headlock they put around Jacksonville in sweeping them.

Here’s what we are watching in their first match-up of the year Sunday:

Who’s running the ball in Jacksonville?

As we documented, both Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon are banged up and were limited in practice this week. Fournette is unlikely to play or even if he is, he may not be that effective with a hamstring injury suffered two weeks ago.

Yeldon had 51 yards rushing last week against the Patriots in Fournette’s absence, but he has a sprained ankle. Yeldon is also listed as questionable.

If Yeldon cannot go, the third running back is Corey Grant, a four year veteran, who has only started one game in his career. Grant did have six catches and four runs last week in the New England win.

QB Blake Bortles played well without Fournette throwing four TDs in the win. He desperately needs some rushing attack for drive momentum and to set up play action.

Who’s the QB for the Titans?

Marcus Mariota has been battling an injury to the nerve in his elbow after taking a hit in the week one loss to the Dolphins. Mariota did not play in their win last week against Houston and is officially questionable for this game in North Florida.

If he cannot play, veteran backup Blaine Gabbert will fill in as he’s done the last two games. Gabbert was just 13-20 for 117 yards and a TD pass against the Texans, but he didn’t have to have great numbers.

The Titans got a fake punt TD pass, played solid defense and still won.

It’s possible that Mariota may try to play, but Tennessee coach Mike Vrabel will have use of both QBs, too.

Which leads to, will the Jaguars D lock down the Titans?

It’s no secret that the Jags want to win with defense, and this game is no exception. They were really good against the Patriots last week holding Hall of Famer Tom Brady in check for much of the day. Jacksonville is fifth in points allowed and seventh in yards allowed in the NFL.

Plus, Jacksonville still has one of the most feared pass rushes in the league, as Brady found out the hard way last week. In a critical third quarter sequence, Bortles had thrown an interception, but right away, defensive end Dante Fowler got the ball back on a strip sack of Brady.

They will need plays like that to get the win and keep their perfect season in tact.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars may have to go deeper into running back depth chart Sunday

Florida Football Insiders



Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

More concern for the Jaguars running back situation at the conclusion of Friday’s practice. This is because not only is Leonard Fournette still questionable to play with his injured hamstring, but now so too is his backup, T.J. Yeldon.

Both players were limited in practice on Friday for Sunday’s game with the Titans. Yeldon has a sprained ankle suffered during Sunday’s win over New England 31-20. He did carry the ball 10 times for 58 yards rushing last week, which was a solid performance.

Coach Doug Marrone was his usual non-forthcoming self post Friday practice, when it came to conversation about the injured backs. However, you can use previous precedence and injury designation to draw some conclusions.

For example, Fournette’s hamstring was bad enough that he never returned to the opening game with the Giants, and even though he and the Jaguars said the right things leading up to last week’s game, he was unable to practice fully, was listed as questionable, and they held him out of the Pats game.

And with the understanding that we are not in the Jacksonville training room and don’t know the full updates, the fact that now Fournette and Yeldon were unable to practice fully at all this week, has to be a concern for the Jaguars running attack.

If neither of those two are active or, let’s say they are active but not effective, the third string running back is fourth year veteran Corey Grant. The former undrafted player from Auburn has been active for 35 games in his career including all 16 a year ago and the first two in this season.

He has only one career start, but Grant against the Patriots last week had six catches for 56 yards and four carries for 13 yards. And he’s clearly who Marrone and offensive coordinator Nate Hackett will turn to to establish the ground game and the play-action for quarterback Blake Bortles.

Again, there’s always the possibility that they were just being precautionary with Yeldon’s ankle this week and that with 48 hours more rest and treatment, he will be ready to start.

But, let’s just say that if you have the former Bama tailback or Fournette, you might need to look at other options for your Fantasy Football lineup this week.

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