Monroe Injury Causes More Line Changes
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Posted Aug 16, 2012

Jaguars starting left tackle Eugene Monroe is the most talented player on the offensive line. It appears as if he'll miss some time with a head injury that the team hopes isn't a concussion.


Jacksonville's offensive line is getting shuffled again.

Left tackle Eugene Monroe left the practice field on a cart Wednesday after getting hit in the head during drills. Team doctors were checking him for a possible concussion, and coach Mike Mularkey said the results would determine whether Monroe plays in Friday night's preseason game at New Orleans.

''We're just going to make sure he's fine,'' Mularkey said. ''I don't think it's anything serious, but we'll check it out.''

Losing Monroe would be the latest setback for an injury plagued unit.

Guard Will Rackley missed the preseason opener because of a high-ankle sprain, is still wearing a walking boot and will be sidelined at least another week. Backup guard Jason Spitz is out at least a month because of a foot injury, and reserve center is John Estes is likely out for the season because of a knee injury.

''Got to be able to adapt, just got to be able to push forward with what you've got,'' guard Uche Nwaneri said. ''It's not easy, but it's not supposed to be easy. ... We've got a lot of guys. We've got a good number of guys who have been here. We all understand the mentality. Overcoming the injury bug like that depends on how prepared your backups are.''

The offensive line was expected to be one of Jacksonville's strongest positions this season. The line helped pave the way for Maurice Jones-Drew to lead the NFL in rushing last season.

All five starters returned, including right tackle Eben Britton, who played just 11 games the last two seasons because of injuries.

But with Rackley out, the Jaguars moved Britton to left guard and inserted second-year player Cameron Bradfield in at tackle. After Monroe went down, Bradfield moved to the left side and former practice squad player Daniel Baldridge went in at right tackle. That combination could end up starting against the Saints.

''It is what it is. Guys go down,'' Britton said. ''You've got to be able to have somebody step up and produce the way a starter would. That's the way we prepare: Everybody is a No. 1 and that's the way you have to think.''

Injuries are common in the trenches, so much so that the Jaguars have never gone an entire season with the same starting five offensive linemen. They came close in 2006, with one starter missing one game, and set the franchise record for rushing yards in a season (2,541).

Keeping the same five ''would be great, but that's not really always realistic,'' Britton said. ''You've just got to roll with what you've got.''

Related Stories
Murphy's Rings Stolen in Jax
 -by  Aug 16, 2012
Gabbert Strides Forward
 -by  Aug 15, 2012
Unlikely Players in D-Line Competition
 -by  Aug 14, 2012

Get our 2012 Pre-Season Fantasy Guide absolutely free!
Sign Up Today!

Upgrade Now!
Free Email Newsletter
Don't miss any news or features from Subscribe to our newsletter to have our newest articles emailed to you on a daily or weekly basis.
Click here for a list of all Team Newsletters.

Add Players to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite players. Click name to add to My HotList.
OT Eugene Monroe (profile)
[View My HotList]
Add Topics to My HotList
Get free email alerts with news about your favorite topics. Click link to add to My HotList.
Football > Jacksonville
Football > Plainfield HS > Alumni
Football > Virginia > Alumni
[View My HotList]