Jaguars to face Bills with three backups on OL
As feared, the Jaguars got bad news on the offensive line as a result of injuries suffered in Sunday's loss in Tennessee.
Starting left guard Vince Manuwai suffered a torn ACL and is out for the season and starting right guard Maurice Williams (biceps) could soon join him on IR. The team will make some sort of move to replenish some depth for practice on Wednesday.
Going with three reserve interior offensive linemen was clearly not the plan for games against Tennessee and Buffalo, which will bring former Jaguar defensive tackle Marcus Stroud, back to town.
At least Jacksonville's game at Indianapolis in Week 3 is against a team that's features smaller players along the defensive front.
"There aren't any future Hall of Famers sitting around on the street right now but there will be some people that are capable football players that will come in and be tough and play a role and that's what we're going to ask them to do," Coach Jack Del Rio said at his press conference. "You never know what you can find and what a guy does with an opportunity. But we're going to look at it real close and try and determine who we think can best help us solve that problem right now."
Del Rio said the team is likely to take a look at veteran guard Chris Liwenski, who was with the team in camp. While Charles Spencer was inactive for the opener and is listed as a tackle, Del Rio said Spencer practiced last week and could help out inside. The practice squad includes interior lineman Drew Miller and tackle Andrew Carnahan, a seventh-round choice from 2007.
Whoever is in the lineup and on the roster, Del Rio said they'll miss Manuwai.
"He's a powerful player," Del Rio said. "He's a big part of our run game. He moves people. We've run the ball well since we've been here and Vinny's been here. He moves people. He's a big strong guy that has done a nice job for us."
Nwaneri suffered a knee injury against the Titans too, but looks to be OK. Even in a best-case scenario Williams is going to miss a good while.
"We're still trying to sort through exactly what we're going to do, whether or not that becomes a season-ending IR or whether there are a number of weeks that we can try and hold a spot and wait," Del Rio said. "So, we've got to work through that as a football team and with Mo and make that determination. We'll do that over the next day or so, but it is an injury that is going to cause some time down at minimum, potentially could cost him the season as well."
At LP Field, if the Jags suffered another offensive line injury Del Rio said the emergency mode contingency plan would have been to turn to a defensive tackle or tight end.
Del Rio indicated the starting point going forward would be the line as it finished against the Titans, which would mean Nwaneri and left guard and Tutan Reyes at right guard. Dennis Norman is playing center while Brad Meester recovers from a biceps injury.
Spencer hasn't played since suffering a broken leg with the Houston Texans in 2006. Backup tackle Richard Collier remains in a Jacksonville hospital in critical condition as a result of gunshot wounds suffered Tuesday. Del Rio said the family was offering no updates on Collier.