The Jaguars are fully aware of the fact they are playing in a dome for the first time this season, on a fast track and the St. Louis Rams have speed to burn.
It could be a very long afternoon for the Jaguars' secondary.
Chris Givens and Tavon Austin could be a nightmare tandem for this opposition.
To counter the speed of the Rams' receivers, the play of the secondary is still a huge question.
Dwayne Gratz is still dealing with a high ankle sprain. Alan Ball has been limited in action this week during practice. Dwight Lowery is still dealing with a concussion. This means rookies like Jonathan Cyprien, Demetrius McCray and Josh Evans will have a tough time.
What helps the Jaguars this week might be the fact the Rams have been in a free fall much like the Rams. St. Louis have lost their last three games by a combined 66-18 points. The fact the team had 10 days to prepare for this game may have helped the Rams work on some things that have been troublesome, on both sides of the ball.
In other Jaguars news…
- This the first week the Jaguars will have both Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon will be on the field together this season. Blackmon plays in his first regular season game this year since being suspended by the NFL for substance abuse violations. The fact the two receivers will be on a fast track could mean a good day for Blaine Gabbert.
- The only problem with the two receivers now being able to start together might be an injury. Shorts aggravated his groin on Wednesday and did not practice. Shorts, the team’s leading receiver, was one of 10 players on the roster that did not practice.
- Look for Ace Sanders to get more work with the return game and in the slot on passing downs. Sanders has been a starter in Blackmon’s absence, which meant he did not help in the return game until last week. Look for Sanders to play a more pivotal role with that area of the team.
- Also, the team could use the running backs and the tight end to help in blocking schemes on passing downs. The one thing about Luke Joeckel playing left tackle is the line will readjust to a new lineup and the fact is - well - Joeckel is a rookie who has had issues with blocking this season. That could mean Maurice Jones-Drew and the tight end in the offense will spend plenty of time blocking instead of their usual roles.