Rift Not Healing

The Jack Del Rio-Mike Peterson rift shows no signs of healing. In Del Rio's latest attempt to humiliate the middle linebacker, Del Rio had him playing special teams on the wedge on the Jaguars' kickoff return even though Peterson didn't play special teams when he was the starting middle linebacker.

Whether Peterson will be active Sunday against Tennessee and playing special teams remains to be seen because Del Rio has declined to discuss his status with the writers in Jacksonville.

On a conference call with Tennessee writers Wednesday, Del Rio said "yes" when he was asked if Peterson would be available Sunday.

Peterson said Wednesday he was the older guy the Jaguars were trying to move "out of the way."

He declined to comment Thursday on playing special teams. "Not today," Peterson said.

Peterson was inactive for the game in Detroit last Sunday after he was tossed out of a team meeting the previous Wednesday when he had a verbal confrontation with Del Rio. Daryl Smith moved into his middle linebacker spot and appears likely to stay there.

Peterson may not get back on the field except for special teams unless one of the three young linebackers, Smith, Justin Durant and Clint Ingram, is injured.

Peterson wasn't expected to return because he'll be a free agent at the end of the year, but he thought he'd finish the season as the starting middle linebacker.

Jags Illustrated Top Stories