JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars left guard Luke Joeckel has dealt with plenty of adversity since being the second overall pick in the 2013 draft.
So this will be nothing new.
The Jaguars (1-3) announced Tuesday that Joeckel, who injured his left knee against Indianapolis in London on Sunday, will have surgery this week and be placed on injured reserve.
Details about the surgery will come after its completion. Under the NFL’s new IR rules, the Jaguars can decide in six weeks whether to bring Joeckel back after Week 12 or shut him down for the rest of the season.
“Yeah, it’s unfortunate,” coach Gus Bradley said. “Your heart and soul goes out to him. Here’s a guy that played tackle, went through a competition, made the move to what’s best for the team, gave to this team, gave in so many areas. It’s not supposed to happen like this when a guy goes about it that way. That’s the tough part to swallow.”
The injury could mean Joeckel has played his final game in Jacksonville. The Jaguars declined to pick up a fifth-year option in his rookie contract and signed free agent Kelvin Beachum to a five-year, $45 million contract to compete with Joeckel at left tackle.
Beachum won the job , and Jacksonville slid Joeckel to guard. He was decent through four games, but it’s unlikely the team would bring him back in 2017 considering he’s coming off knee surgery.
His tenure in Jacksonville has been far from smooth. He missed most of his rookie season because of a broken right ankle and was deemed a bust after giving up five sacks in the 2015 season finale at Houston.
Then he was asked to learn the nuances of playing guard for the first time in his life. And now he could end another season on IR.
“He never complains about anything, no matter what happens,” receiver Allen Hurns said. “He comes in every day and just works. It’s very unfortunate for him to go through that. But we’re all here for him and we’re going to be here no matter what.”
Without Joeckel, the Jaguars will decide between Patrick Omameh, Chris Reed and Tyler Shatley at left guard after the bye week. Omameh filled in for Joeckel against the Colts, and Reed started one game at left guard last month.
“We’ll take a look at it now and see where we’re at,” Bradley said. “That’s the good thing about the bye week: We can have those conversations and see what’s best.”
Tight end Julius Thomas (elbow) and defensive end Jared Odrick (triceps) are expected to return to practice next week and play at Chicago (1-3). Safety Tashaun Gipson, who sprained his right knee against the Colts, and tight end Marcedes Lewis, who injured his left hip, also should be back.
The Jaguars got a one-week roster exemption for cornerback Aaron Colvin, who was suspended the first four games for violating NFL rules on performance enhancers. Colvin returned to the facility Monday after spending the past month working out in Dallas.
“I’m feeling like money,” Colvin said. “I’m feeling like a million dollars. I’m ready to go. … I know that I can bring another element to this secondary that’s already playing a high level. I’m just excited to get back with these guys and do anything and everything I can to help them.”
Colvin started 15 games last season, finishing with 73 tackles, seven pass breakups and four sacks. His return likely means starter Davon House gets benched since Prince Amukamara and rookie Jalen Ramsey have played well.
“It felt like a year,” Colvin said. “I told everybody in here, ‘It felt like I haven’t seen y’all in a year.’ I’m in here hugging guys like I haven’t seen them in over a decade. It feels good just to be around. These are my brothers. There’s really no other feeling like that.”