Blaine Gabbert and his hand injury remains the big news at EverBank Field, but the Jacksonville Jaguars must move forward in trying to find a way to beat Oakland on the road this coming weekend.
In other words, the ship must move forward if they want to earn their first win of the season. A win would certainly get some of the national media off their collective backs about being an 0-16 team.
The offensive line needs to be stronger, the receivers need to hold on to the ball and the defense must apply pressure up the middle and stop Terrelle Pryor. And then, there are the other issues that need to be addressed besides who will throw the ball down the field.
How the Jaguars handle this week and play in Oakland will speak to the character of this team. Young, inexperienced franchises have a habit of spiraling after a loss or two. Head coach Gus Bradley must energize his troops and hope there is no place like the road to make 53 players feel better.
The game against Oakland last season was the one that not only knocked out Maurice Jones-Drew for the season, but also sent Gabbert to the sidelines and gave us our first look at Chad Henne. Oakland won the game.
I’m looking for a rejuvenated squad that will come out fighting and score more than a point or two. Cecil Shorts and Jones-Drew must be more active in the offense. and hopefully the team will get more help from the tight end position, maybe if Marcedes Lewis can play on Sunday.
In other Jags news according to jaguars.com.
* Will Blackmon will make his first start as a Jaguar. Blackmon will replace the rookie Dwayne Gratz who is out for at least three weeks with an ankle injury. Blackmon played 29 plays against the Chiefs after Gratz left the game.
* Will Rackley is still a question mark for this week. Third-year guard Will Rackley sustained a lateral knee sprain against the Chiefs, though Bradley said Monday he has not been ruled out of practice Wednesday. Second-year veteran Mike Brewster played 26 plays in Rackley’s place. Rackley was credited with allowing a sack and a hurry in 48 plays, and Brewster was not credited with allowing a sack or a hurry.
* Tight end Marcedes Lewis status is uncertain entering the week. He missed the opener with a calf injury, with Allen Reisner playing 67 plays at tight end and Clay Harbor playing 10. Reisner dropped a pass early, and caught three for 31 yards. Harbor caught a five-yard pass early in the game.