The Jaguars are going to take their time to let Mike Peterson's broken right hand heal before they let him return to the field.
Peterson will undergo surgery on the and won't return to the lineup until he's able to use his hand, coach Jack Del Rio said Monday.
Del Rio gave no timetable for how long Peterson will be out, but the injury could take several weeks to heal.
He also ruled out duplicating their strategy for the 2005 playoff game against New England, when they heavily wrapped a cast on his injured wrist he suffered in the final regular-season game and let him try to play one-handed.
Peterson had 10 tackles and a sack in that game, but he couldn't wrap up tight end Ben Watson when he caught a short pass in the third quarter of that game. Watson spun away from Peterson and went 63 yards for a touchdown.
Since the Patriots won easily, 28-3, the play wasn't a big factor in the game, but the Jaguars don't want to risk a similar play in a close game.
"We learned from our experience of a couple of years ago when he went with a club and wasn't able to wrap up and function to help us win. We're not looking at that as an option," Del Rio said.
Del Rio said he doesn't want to give a prognosis for how long Peterson will be sidelined until the doctors perform the surgery.
Del Rio also said he didn't know whether cornerback Rashean Mathis will be able to play this week against Buffalo after straining his groin and sitting out the second half of the San Diego game.
Del Rio will get a better idea of Mathis' status when the team starts practicing Wednesday for the Buffalo game.
With Peterson sidelined, they'll probably move Daryl Smith to middle linebacker and play rookie Justin Durant on the outside.
When Peterson missed 11 games last year with a torn pectoral muscle, Smith moved to the middle and rookie Clint Ingram got a chance to start and has remained in the starting lineup this year.
Durant, who missed two games after being arrested on Nov. 3 when police found him asleep in his car, will get a chance to showcase himself and overcome the bad impression left by the arrest.
Of Durant, Del Rio said, "Defensively, we always have a package where he's involved. He's a good player. He's an aggressive run-and-hit guy, a pretty heady player. He has great quickness."
To add depth at linebacker, the Jaguars cut kicker John Carney, who became expendable when Josh Scobee returned, and signed Jorge Cordova. The other linebacker on the roster is second-year player Brian Iwuh, who has played mostly on special teams.
Del Rio, though, declined to make it official that Smith will move to the middle and Durant will start in place of Peterson because he wants he wants to keep Buffalo guessing.
"I'd just as soon let us work and let Buffalo try and figure it out," he said.
When Del Rio was asked if it's really an advantage not to make an official announcement, he said, "I don't have an answer to that. I'm doing the best I can to answer your questions with the information I'm willing to give you. I don't care to get into my reasoning in how I do and what I do in terms of disclosing information.
"I do what I must in some cases and what I'm willing to do in others. I think it's a pretty open situation here. I think I work pretty good in giving you guys information," he said.
Keep Buffalo Guessing
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