By: David Levin (@davidlevin71)
It’s a good thing Jaguars' head coach Gus Bradley was in the right place at the right time when Blaine Gabbert went down with an ankle injury.
The fact the situation was downplayed the way it was in Bradley’s press conference on Monday afternoon told us a few things about this team and about the coach himself. Both will help this team build character over 17 regular season weeks come September 8 against Kansas City at home.
“I was right there when it happened,” Bradley told the media. With a fervor we have not seen in some time, Bradley took over today’s press conference. This is his team. This is his plan and with general manager David Caldwell, this is how things are going to be run.
There are two new sheriffs in town and the fan base and the NFL had better get used to it.
Gabbert walked off the field and was attended to by medical staff, but the severity of the injury is not known as of yet. Ankle sprains, as it was “diagnosed” early on, have a way of lingering and causing athletes issues. They are worse than a fracture in some cases because the swelling in ligaments and joints take longer to heal sometimes. As someone who has broken every bone and have sprained every joint there is playing basketball, I can attest to the feeling.
If this is nothing more than a simple bruise and sprain, then there is no harm, no foul. It’s the nature of the game, but if it is something more - then this is a whole new ball game and for now, Chad Henne is your starter by default.
And if it is a severe sprain, then the starter for opening day will be No. 7. I for one think this is a simple injury where Gabbert misses practice on Wednesday and Thursday and is back out on the field Friday and plays sparingly in Saturday’s scrimmage.
The Jaguars were decimated last year in training camp by injuries and really set the tone for the coming season. This is an injury the team does not need. Gabbert missed the final six games of the season and allowed Henne to get a shot this year as the starter. An injury now all but assures us this will be a neck and neck chase to the finish. If Gabbert is injured and comes back to start - then he deserves it. If he can’t be effective in camp and the preseason, then Henne should be under center. Either way, the two have drawn lines in the practice field and one must decide if he is going to move forward. And now, we have a competition, now we have a war and now, with this injury, we really have something to talk about.
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