The Jaguars learned that safety Donovin Darius tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and will be lost for the 2005 season. The Jaguars had hoped that it was just a bad sprain, but an MRI revealed the more extensive damage.
The loss of Darius will be the most devastating on run defense. He has been the secondary's top tackler for the past seven years and was third overall in tackles last season. He also grabbed five interceptions in 2004.
"Donovin has been an integral part of our defense since we've been here. Knowing Donovin, he'll still be a part of it, even though he won't be able to play," defensive coordinator Mike Smith said.
Darius was injured during a Jacksonville punt return in the second quarter.
Ironically, his injury comes shortly after signing a 3-year deal in July. He and the Jaguars battled through a bitter offseason as Jacksonville put the franchise tag on him for the third year in a row.
The loss of Darius and the game has left a bad taste in the mouth of the Jaguars, who face the Jets this weekend.
"That was a 16-round heavyweight fight," said Jacksonvill linebacker Mike Peterson. "I'm going to remember this until we play again. I'm going to find it on the schedule and circle it, put a star by it."
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