Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAGUARS NOTEBOOK; Secondary Won't Include Mathis

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

JAGUARS NOTEBOOK; Secondary Won't Include Mathis

Article excerpt


Scratch cornerback Rashean Mathis from the Jaguars' list of defensive starters for Sunday's game against the Buffalo Bills.

Coach Jack Del Rio ruled Mathis out because of a groin injury the cornerback suffered last week in the fourth quarter against the Jets. The Jaguars could also be without linebacker Justin Durant, who missed practice Wednesday with a head injury.

Mathis underwent an MRI exam Monday. Apparently, the results weren't satisfactory enough to keep him in the lineup.

"He won't play this week," Del Rio said. "It could be a little while. With Rashean, he's proven over time to kind of beat the prognosis. Some guys just heal quickly, and Rashean's been that kind of guy for us."

Del Rio wouldn't divulge the club's plans for replacing Mathis. The last time Mathis missed a game (a loss at Tennessee on Nov. 1), safety Reggie Nelson took over and struggled at left corner. The team might be able to compensate schematically if Nelson moved to corner again because of additional depth at safety with Gerald Alexander, Sean Considine and Anthony Smith. Alexander sat out of practice Wednesday with a shoulder ailment.

"I'm not sad that [Mathis is] not playing," joked interim Bills coach Perry Fewell, a former Jaguars defensive backs coach.

But there's no question that Mathis' absence complicates how the Jaguars defend Buffalo receivers Lee Evans and Terrell Owens, both dangerous targets.

"It'll cause us to work a little bit to get the other guys ready," Del Rio said. "We have different options. We'll be ready to roll."

Durant missed two games earlier in the season with a hip injury.


The Jaguars signed rookie receiver Nate Swift to the practice squad. He replaces Nate Hughes, who was promoted Tuesday to the active roster.

Swift (6-foot-2, 202 pounds) was originally signed by Denver as a free agent in April. He played in 51 games with 29 starts at Nebraska, finishing his college career with a school-record 166 catches for 2,476 yards and 22 touchdowns. …

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