The Jaguars landed a pair of third-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft — Josh Oliver, a tight from San Jose State, and Quincy Williams, a weakside linebacker from Murray State. The two small school players were supposed to have a significant impact for the Jaguars in 2019. But both guys suffered injuries in training camp that set them back. Oliver pulled his hamstring, while Williams tore his MCL.
Williams was rushed back into the lineup for week one of the regular season. The Jaguars didn't have many other options, thanks to the surprise retirement of Telvin Smith. But Williams struggled to adapt and grow during his rookie season. He certainly showed flashes, but the lack of training camp and preseason reps hurt his chances during his rookie year. He ultimately wound up on the Injured Reserve at the end of the season with a hand injury. Williams missed five games in total, but injuries had a much more significant impact than the box score will show.
For Oliver, the hamstring injury kept him off the field until week seven of the 2019 regular season. He played sparingly in just four games before finding his way to the Injured Reserve due to a back injury.
Ground Hog Day.
Late last week, we learned that Quincy Williams was dealing with a core muscle injury. Jaguars' head coach Doug Marrone told the media Monday morning that Williams underwent successful core muscle surgery and gave no timetable for his return.
During the same press conference that Marrone had to address the abrupt retirement of defensive tackle Rodney Gunter (aortic heart condition) dropped another bombshell. On Sunday, Josh Oliver suffered a broken bone in his foot during non-contact work. Oliver will undergo surgery to repair his injured foot on Tuesday.
"He (Josh Oliver) was in shape," Jaguars' head coach Doug Marrone told the media. "He was doing really well. We were excited. He's devastated obviously because it showed that he put a lot of work in."
It's tough to stomach. These two kids have both been working tirelessly to show why they were selected in the third round of the draft last year. Now, their respective careers have been put on hold again.
From a team perspective, the Jaguars should be okay without them, but this hurts their depth in a big way.
Oliver figured to be the second or third tight end on the depth chart. Free-agent acquisition Tyler Eifert will be the starter, and James O'Shaughnessy will serve as the second-string tight end. Also on the roster at tight end are 2020 seventh-round pick Tyler Davis and 2019 undrafted free agent Charles Jones. Jones got some valuable in-game experience during his rookie year.
At weakside linebacker, Williams was competing for the primary backup spot behind Myles Jack. Now, Dakota Allen and Nate Evans will need to step up. Allen, a 2019 seventh-round pick the Jaguars sniped from the Rams' practice squad, has received praise from Dave Caldwell and Doug Marrone. Evans is a 2020 undrafted free agent from UCF.
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