The Jaguars (2-2) take on the Panthers (2-2) this Sunday in Charlotte. The winner of the week five contest will be one step closer to playoff contention in their respective conference, while the loser will take a significant blow in the standings.
Injuries could have a significant role to play in the outcome of this catfight.
On Thursday, the Jaguars were without Jalen Ramsey, Lerentee McCray, and Marqise Lee. Outside of those three players, the Jaguars had full participation in practice.
Jalen Ramsey is dealing with back soreness. He missed the first game of his career last Sunday and has yet to practice this week. His availability, or lack thereof, will be a key storyline to follow throughout the rest of the week. If Ramsey can’t go, Kyle Allen and the Panthers’ receivers will likely target second-year cornerback Tre Herndon early and often.
McCray is a reserve pass-rusher and core special teamer. He has an oblique strain. McCray was limited on Wednesday but was held out of practice on Thursday.
Marqise Lee has a scheduled day off and should still be available this Sunday. But if he can’t go, the Jaguars are still in good hands at receiver with DJ Chark, Chris Conley, and Dede Westbrook.
The Jaguars, as a whole, have been blessed with good health heading into this pivotal week five matchup, but the Panthers might not have the same luck.
Carolina’s star defensive tackle Kawaan Short was placed on the IR earlier in the week with a partially torn rotator cuff.
QB Cam Newton (foot), S Eric Reid (ankle), CB Donte Jackson (groin), DE Brian Burns (wrist), G Trai Turner (ankle), T Greg Little (concussion), TE Chris Manhertz (concussion), and DT Gerald McCoy were all held out of practice on Thursday.
If the Panthers can’t get healthy by Sunday, it’ll greatly aid the Jaguars’ cause. But with RB Christian McCaffery and a dangerous pass rush, the Jaguars will be put to the test this weekend.
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