JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Jacksonville Jaguars are down to their third-string left tackle for Sunday’s game against Kansas City after Cam Robinson suffered a non-contact right knee injury during Thursday’s practice and backup Cedric Ogbuehi has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
The team plans on starting second-year player Will Richardson against the Chiefs at TIAA Bank Field. Richardson was competing throughout the preseason to be the starting guard but has also practiced some at left tackle.
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said Robinson, who missed 14 games last season with a torn ACL in his left knee, was hurt while setting up in pass protection and his right knee “gave out.” Marrone said Robinson underwent an MRI but he does not know the results, nor does he know if the injury is severe enough to be season-ending.
Robinson was not at Friday’s practice. Marrone said he didn’t know if the team was going to sign another tackle, such as Josh Wells, whom the team released during final cuts.
Ogbuehi hasn’t practiced since suffering a hamstring injury in Week 3 of the preseason. The backup swing tackle would likely be Brandon Thomas, who was a third-round pick by San Francisco in 2014 but has never played in a game.
“You know what I’ve learned around here? I just take things day by day and the guys that can play, play, and the guys that can’t, they just tell me,” Marrone said. “What else am I going to do? I’m not a doctor. Can’t predict anything. I have no clue whatsoever.”
The Jaguars will now start two players at tackle who have never played a single snap in the NFL because the right tackle is rookie second-round pick Jawaan Taylor. That’s not exactly ideal considering Kansas City tied for the NFL lead in sacks last season (52) and added Frank Clark (35 career sacks, including 13 last season) this offseason. Richardson has played just one snap at left tackle since high school: a kneel-down play at N.C. State.
“I haven’t gotten as much time [at left tackle] as I would like, of course, but at the same time I’ve been playing tackle all my life. It’s just about taking the little things and taking them over to the left side,” he said.
The Jaguars drafted Richardson in the fourth round in 2018 but he struggled in training camp, was active just once in the first six weeks, and was then placed on IR with a knee injury. He said Friday he’s much more prepared mentally to step in and play now.
“I just couldn’t even imagine all this going on my rookie year,” Richardson said. “It was just enough for me to learn the right tackle position and getting accustomed to an NFL offense let alone trying to learn the right tackle as well as two other positions. As well as switching sides. I feel like this year I’m definitely in a lot better stage to handle this predicament that they’re putting me in and not only just handle it, but do well at it. That’s my main goal, is to go out here and not only show them that I can play it but show them I can play good.”
This situation is similar to what the Jaguars went through last season. After Robinson’s injury in Week 2, the Jaguars ended up starting three other players at left tackle throughout the season. Ereck Flowers, a former first-round pick of the Giants, started the final seven.