Jaguars Suffer Another Snake-Bitten Offseason

Another year, another No. 1 draft pick with a knee injury. Last year, the Jacksonville Jaguars drafted Dante Fowler Jr. out of the University of Florida with hopes he’d hit the ground running and immediately impact their defensive pass rush. Instead, he hit the ground clutching his knee with a torn ACL in a team workout and his season was over before he’d even signed his rookie contract.

Early this week this year’s first-round pick, cornerback Jalen Ramsey, injured his knee during a workout. Who’s running these workouts for the Jaguars? Cobra Kai?

The early report on Ramsey is that it’s a small tear in the meniscus of his right knee. He’s resting for a week and will get re-evaluated next week with Dr. James Andrews. The good news is it looks like Ramsey will miss the season, just some of training camp and probably most of the preseason. While that might hamper his pro development for a few months, at least he won’t be on his couch watching at home like Fowler did last year.

But that really depends on Dr. Andrews’ recommendations. Ramsey and the Jags have been told there are two surgical options to fix the small tear, if that’s all it turns out to be. One takes four-to-six weeks to come back from. The other can take as long six months.

This isn’t the first issue Ramsey had with that knee. In high school he had microfracture surgery on it and didn’t play as a sophomore. If all these words sound familiar regarding a Jaguars draft pick there’s a good reason for that. The Jags’ second round pick, linebacker Myles Jack, has yet to heal up from his torn lateral meniscus and told teams leading up to the draft that he might need microfracture surgery himself. It caused a draft-day fall for Jack completely out of the first round after he was an early consensus Top-Five pick. The Jags stole him on day two, but now both their star draftees are hobbled.

At least all those guys, knees, crutches and canes aside want to play this season and are working to make that happen. Their 2012 first-round draft pick, wide receiver Justin Blackmon, has been suspended from the NFL for the last two seasons with little or no hope to return. Just a month ago Blackmon plead guilty to a misdemeanor DUI charge from where he was pulled over and failed a field sobriety test in December. And while the Jags have developed a couple of solid wideouts in Blackmon’s absense in Allen Hurns and Allen Robinson, Blackmon flashed fantastic potential in the 20 NFL games he played between suspensions his first two seasons. He caught 93 passes for  1,280 yards and six touchdowns in those games and that’s all before the team drafted Blake Bortles.

If you play for the Jaguars, the most treacherous part of the year is the off-season.

Pro Bowl Says Aloha to Hawaii

The Pro Bowl isn’t just moving to the mainland this season, but could be going to the other side of the country.  Scott Soshnick is reporting that the deal is already in the works to bring the Pro Bowl to the land of Mickey Mouse, Orlando Fla. this season, though no official word has been released by the NFL.

The NFL did admit it was fielding bids to host the game and that Honolulu, Houston, Orlando and Sydney, Australia of all places have offered to host. According to Soshnick, though, the decision has been made and the game will be played inside the Citrus Bowl.

It seems to be another attempt by the league to ramp up interest in a game that not even the guys playing in it seem terribly concerned with. The game is usually sparsely attended in Hawaii and really just serves as a nice vacation reward for the players, who slack off and give very little effort in the actual game. Presumably a move to Orlando would bring attendance up as fans would at least get to see their favorite players in person, even if they’re all half-drunk and phoning the whole thing in.

About Adam Greene

Adam Greene is a writer and photographer based out of East Tennessee. His work has appeared in USA Today, the Associated Press, the Chicago Cubs Vineline Magazine, and many other publications.

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