The starting lineup for the Jacksonville Jaguars this week looks more like a makeshift MASH unit.
Blaine Gabbert, Cecil Shorts, Will Rackley Uche Nwaneri, Mike Brown, Marcedes Lewis, and Dwayne Gratz and Alan Ball have all been sidelined during practice, will not play in the game against Oakland, or have been listed as out of action for the next three weeks.
It’s enough to make a head coach scratch his head and wonder what happens next. Gus Bradley doesn’t want to think that far ahead.
With a team that was so dismal last week, tweaking an offense is one thing, but having its starting unit (with the exception of Gratz) ailing is not a good thing. Add to the fact that Justin Blackmon will miss another three games and the writing may already be on the wall this early in the NFL season for this franchise.
The injury bug always seems to find this team and hit it like it were an all out blitz with eight men in the box. This is not what this team needs right now. Oakland may not be the best team in this league, but they are certainly competitive.
This week’s meeting between the two 0-1 teams is more of a war of attrition than anything else for the Jaguars. Could the lack of talent and youngsters actual be the reason the team receives another “L” in the loss column.
The Jaguars and their offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch now must not only plan for Oakland, but must make adjustments to an offense that had no firepower last week. And with injuries piling up, where Lewis won’t play, Rackley is questionable and Gabbert has been replaced, it makes it even tougher.
“We put ourselves in some tough situations,” Fisch said on Jacksonville.com. “I think 51 of our  plays or so, it was 10 yards or more to go when you count your first-and-10s plus. So, we have to be in a better situation to play better ball.”
Playing better ball might be an understatement for this team.
Will Blackmon is expected to start for Gratz. Mike Harris and rookie Demetrius McCray would be the next in line if Ball can’t play. For depth, Bradley said the team could sign Marcus Burley off the practice squad. Jeremy Ebert might also be a consideration from the practice squad at wide receiver.
That all depends on whether Mike Brown can go this weekend and start against Oakland.