Jaguars Rookie Dante Fowler, Jr Goes Down With Knee Injury
Friday was supposed to be one of the best days in Jacksonville Jaguars history. Eight new draft picks to go along with a host of signed and invited rookies and first year players put on helmets and shorts to show the staff and the community what they had to offer a team full of hope in 2015.
That hope turned to fear during the team’s first minicamp as their prized draft pick, Dante Fowler, Jr went down with an apparent knee injury.
The extent of the injury is not known at this time. Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said the team would know more in the evening and tomorrow. It is also not known yet if an MRI will be require as part of a diagnosis for Fowler, the third overall pick in last weekend’s NFL Draft.
Fowler went down holding his left knee during a team drill midway through the practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness practice fields. Fowler was rushing the passer at the time, and did not appear to make significant contact with an offensive player, this according to Jaguars.com senior writer, John Oehser.
“(Jaguars Head Athletic Trainer Scott Trulock) just talked to me right now,” Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said after practice about an hour after Fowler left the field. “He’s being evaluated right now. We’ll know more tonight.
Fowler was engaged with UGA tackle Watts Dantzler when he went down during team drills.
The fact an MRI was not immediately ordered could be a good thing. Speculation surrounding knee injuries, especially when it comes to an ACL or other ligament tear is usually determined fairly quickly.
Fowler, who worked in practice at the team’s Leo pass rusher positon – the position the team expects him to play in Bradley’s defense – left the field with the help of trainers. He did not appear to be putting significant weight on the leg.
Trainers attended to Fowler before he was taken inside EverBank Field – which is adjacent to the team’s practice fields – on a cart.
“Sometimes injuries happen in the game,” Bradley said. “It’s just hard for me to speculate. Any time a guy gets injured it’s not a pleasant thing. It’s not a good thing whatever the injury is. It can set him back a couple of days, a week, or whatever. Whatever it is we’ll deal with it and keep going.”
The hope is the injury is not significant and will not affect the team’s plans for the upcoming season. Jacksonville’s leading sack artist last season, Sen’Derrick Marks, is still going through rehabilitation on his ACL injury he suffered in the final game of the season last year. Marks had 8.5 sacks from the defensive tackle position.
Fowler was one of eight draft picks and over 50 rookie and first year players to put on a helmet and practice at the practice field at EverBank Field. Fans had the chance to see the newest players on the Jaguars roster for the first time. Fowler, as he came out of the locker room and stadium was greeted with the biggest cheers from the fans in attendance.