In training camp, Aaron Kampman talked of enduring a torn ACL last season and the fight to get back from it as “purifying.” I was intrigued that he saw such a torturous event in a football life that way.
Now he’ll have to find something good about a second rehabilitation, as he’s done for the year after tearing the ACL in his other knee during practice on Wednesday.
It’s an awful blow for the Jaguars, who made a big investment in Kampman as a free agent and have gotten four sacks, steady energetic play and quality leadership from him.
With Derrick Harvey recently demoted in favor of Jeremy Mincey, it's unclear how the lineup will shake out. Mincey is looking to return from a broken hand. The other ends on the roster are all rookies: Larry Hart, Austen Lane and Aaron Morgan.
That changes the complexion of the line in a big way. Neither will call for the sort of extra attention offenses have had to pay Kampman. Terrance Knighton and Tyson Alualu have been getting better in the middle, but a central push that flushes a quarterback needs to flush him into someone from the edge who’s also gotten free.
Houston right tackle Eric Winston spoke with the Jacksonville press about Kampman earlier this week:
“When [Jacksonville] signed him I was like ‘oh great’. I went against him in Green Bay and now I’m like ‘this is fantastic, now I get to see him twice a year? This is exactly what I wanted to see’. But he’s Kampman. To me, he’s a lot like Kyle Vanden Bosch, probably a little stronger. He’s a guy that, he’s going to get crafty, he’s going to give you a lot of different looks, if you tip things off he’s going to take advantage of you, you better bring your A-game when you play him because he’s going to bring his A-game every time. If you don’t, he’ll make you look bad.”
A B-game from Winston may now be plenty good enough for him to cancel out the edge threat from the Jaguars on Sunday.