Jags May Select DT Early

The Jaguars have a number of needs they were looking to address with the upcoming college draft. Defensive tackle was not on that list. At least it wasn't until this past weekend.

In Terrance Knighton and Tyson Alualu, Jacksonville felt that it had one of the best combinations of tackles in the NFL. That thought has been put on hold with the eye injury that Knighton suffered following an altercation at a local establishment in the early hours of Sunday, April 8.

Knighton was at the night club with a friend. When his friend got involved in a fight with another patron, Knighton came to his friend's defense and attempted to put a stop to the fight. But Knighton got the worst of the deal, getting struck in the back of the head and then in his face by another patron at the club. A police report stated that Knighton suffered cuts on his eye and the back of his head.

An off-duty police officer who was working as extra security outside the facility, the Pure Nightclub, wrote up a report on the incident. The report says that Knighton and his friend threatened to shoot people repeatedly, a claim that Knighton's agent, Tony Fleming, later denied.

The Jaguars' defensive tackle drove himself to a local hospital where he had surgery on his eye.

The Jaguars have said little about the incident thus far. No one has spoken publicly about what happened, opting instead to issue a written statement: "We are aware of the incident report regarding Terrance Knighton. We hold all of our players to a high standard of behavior, as does the National Football League. We're concerned about this matter, and it is being handled internally. We'll have no further comment at this time."

Knighton has not made a public appearance to talk about the incident. His only comment thus far has come on his Twitter account.

"Thank you everyone for the support," he wrote on Tuesday. "I plan on making a full recovery. Thank you fans, family and friends."

While the injury is considered to be serious, it is not expected to be career-threatening. What is uncertain however, is how long Knighton might be out until he is cleared to start playing football again.

Should the recuperation take up to four months, it could affect his participation in the team's training camp in August. The other concern is if Knighton must be inactive for any length of time, how will it affect his weight. Only two weeks ago, Knighton talked about how he was going to report in the best shape of his career entering training camp this fall.

Knighton's weight had ballooned past the 360-mark last year during the offseason. Nicknamed "Pot Roast" for his passion of his mom's favorite entree, Knighton could encounter a similar weight problem by August if he's unable to participate in offseason conditioning.

The Jaguars will try to ascertain as much information on Knighton's status in the next two weeks as the college draft approaches. The team did not have defensive tackle among its priorities for the draft. But with unanswered questions remaining about Knighton's condition, the team may now have to give the position some consideration.

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