Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC South [Print without images]

Monday, April 9, 2012
Knighton injury could put focus on Smith

By Paul Kuharsky

We don’t know how seriously injured Terrance Knighton is.

The Jaguars defensive tackle had eye surgery Sunday following an incident at or near a Jacksonville nightclub.

Any interpretation of the details is pure speculation at this point.

Ayodele
Knighton
Any eye surgery sounds serious. But Knighton was released from the hospital Sunday, which would seem to be a good sign. Tania Ganguli of the Florida Times-Union writes that Knighton has a doctor’s appointment Monday afternoon.

Knighton is a very likeable guy who’s heading into the final year of his rookie contract. He's a giant with very quick feet who's battled weight issues but seems to have gotten things under control this offseason. The team has assured him that if he manages his weight and plays the way he's capable of, he’ll get a big contract.

Hopefully those are still things we are talking about and tracking. Hopefully this development is not something that puts his vision, his career or his season in jeopardy.

The Jaguars are strong on defense, and it starts up the middle. When healthy and fit, Tyson Alualu and Knighton make a formidable duo at defensive tackle.

The team is hopefully that 2010 third-rounder D’Anthony Smith will be a contributor as depth, and he’d be the guy expected to do more if Knighton misses action.

Smith missed his rookie year with a ruptured Achilles suffered early in training camp. Year 2, he tore a toe ligament at the end of the preseason and landed on injured reserve again.

His redemption story could take on even more importance if Knighton is out.