Luke Joeckel has been lost for the rest of the season with an ankle fracture. The injury means the Jaguars, who just a week ago had two franchise offensive tackles, are now starting backups on their offensive line for the rest of the season.
Fittingly, the injury to Joeckel occurred the game after the Jaguars traded their left tackle, Eugene Monroe, to the Ravens for extremely modest late-round compensation picks.
The injury is also a great summation of the Jaguars’ season, an utter and complete failure.
Head coach Gus Bradley and general manager David Caldwell were supposed to turn the team around, and they may well do that in the future, but at this point, the new regime resembles that of the old. The Jaguars’ decision to move Eugene Monroe instead of giving him a new contract at the end of the season has the appearance of a cheap football team, not one willing to spend money to win games.
Likewise, the Jaguars’ decision to not pursue any quarterbacks in the offseason to help bolster the worst group of quarterbacks in the NFL now appears like delusional hope in incumbent Blaine Gabbert.
Still, there should be hope for the future. The Jaguars are undoubtedly the worst football team in the country, but they do have some offensive weapons and a defense that will only grow. With a quarterback, probably one they’ll take with the first overall pick in next year’s draft, the Jaguars may actually be able to find their stride, just not in the foreseeable future.
To be perfectly fair to the Jaguars, there are signs of life in the rubble that is the state of the franchise. The team’s stadium is going to be fitted with a massive new scoreboard, and the team is currently in the middle of a great youth movement. Help is on the way, but much like the Colts of two years ago, the Jaguars must be patient. By losing now, the Jaguars may gain an elite young quarterback in the not-so-distant future.