Jaguars Injury Preview - Offense

One of the main reasons why the Jaguars are being touted as a Super Bowl contender is the team's considerable wealth of young players and depth at key positions. Injuries are a part of life in the NFL and we are going to examine each position group and decipher how long the team can sustain an injury.

Quarterback- This is easily the Jaguars or any team's most important position and although the team signed Cleo Lemon to be David Garrard's backup, he didn't look particularly good in mini-camp or OTA's. The Jaguars can probably afford to have Garrard go down for a few weeks up to a month and still be a playoff team. Any longer than that and the waters become very murky. They will need Garrard healthy for 16 games to contend for a division title.

Running Back- Although the team has a returning Pro Bowler in Fred Taylor, they can afford to have Taylor go down for an extended period of time and still be a playoff team. Maurice Jones-Drew is a legitimate star in the making, and Greg Jones can carry the rock in a backup type of role. The Jaguars special teams game would suffer by having Jones-Drew get more regular carries, but the Jaguars rushing game shouldn't be hurt too badly.

Wide Receiver- It is presumed that Jerry Porter and Reggie Williams will be the Jaguars number one and two wide receivers in 2008. If either goes down, the team still has last season's number one, Dennis Northcutt, mini-camp star Troy Williamson, as well as Mike Walker and John Broussard. Porter was signed to take the Jaguars passing game to a new level, but they won a lot of games a year ago without him. With the Jaguars strong running game, they can certainly sustain an injury to a receiver.

Tight End- Marcedes Lewis' health is a key factor in the Jaguars success, despite him putting up very moderate statistics during his first two seasons in the league. Lewis' backup, George Wrighster has a tendency to be injured, and both Greg Estandia and Richard Angulo haven't proved themselves as regular contributors at the NFL level. Lewis will likely have a much bigger presence in the passing game in 2008, and the Jaguars would have to change their offensive strategies if Lewis were to go down for an extended period of time.

Offensive Line- The Jaguars have a lot of depth on the interior of their line, but there is no great substitute for Vince Manuwai. Manuwai played 2007 at a very high level, and he's responsible for much of the success of the Jaguars running game over the last two seasons. Like any team in the NFL, the Jaguars don't want to lose an offensive tackle being that they are responsible for protecting their most valuable asset, David Garrard. If Khalif Barnes or Tony Pashos were to go down, the Jaguars would have to take their chances with either backup tackle Richard Collier, who's played in just a handful of games at tackle, or move Maurice Williams from the inside back outside, where he played for much of his career. The team can survive any injury on the offensive line, but the production of the entire offense would suffer greatly.



Charlie Bernstein is the Editor-in-Chief of Sports Media Interactive, covering multiple teams in the National Football League, NCAA, and National Basketball Association. Charlie is a regular syndicated contributor to FoxSports and Sirius NFL Radio, and has been featured on the NFL Network. Charlie is also a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Feel free to contact him -HERE- with questions or comments.

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