Jaguars Deal With Loss of Linebacker Posluszny
While the Jacksonville Jaguars celebrated their first win of the 2014 season on Sunday, the team lost two key players on defense – the same unit that helped key the Cleveland Browns to six points.
Paul Posluszny, the Jaguars’ starting middle linebacker and the team’s on-field defensive leader, will be placed on injured reserve with a torn pectoral muscle. Announcing the situation on Monday, Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley left no doubt: This is an important player, who played a critical role on and off the field.
And he will be missed.
“It’s a big loss,” Bradley said on Jaguars.com Monday afternoon, a day after the Jaguars’ 24-6 victory over the Cleveland Browns at EverBank Field. “He’s been playing really well lately.
“He’s been playing well ever since I’ve been here, but I think he’s really coming into his own and really understands the defense. He really takes total command of the defense. That will be a difficult one.”
The news regarding Posluszny came the same day the Jaguars announced that defensive end Andre Branch will miss about six weeks with a torn groin muscle sustained against the Browns. Branch has three sacks this season.
While Posluszny is the heart and soul and definitive leader of the defense, there isn’t a belief that the team will got out and sign a veteran to play in the middle for the Jaguars defense. The team signed Dekota Watson in the offseason and will count more on the play of J.T. Thomas and rookie linebacker Telvin Smith.
Smith had a sack and interception in the 24-6 win on Sunday.
Watson or LaRoy Reynolds likely will play the Otto outside linebacker position. Watson was signed as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason to play the Otto, and when he missed the offseason and much of training camp with a groin injury, Reynolds started the first three games of the regular season.
Bradley said the position will be competitive this week, and that Watson has improved in recent weeks.