Jacksonville could be without big-man Jared Odrick in its season opener vs. the Green Bay Packers Sunday at 1 p.m. E.T.
Odrick, who started every game last season for the Jaguars at defensive end, suffered a concussion in practice according to the team and was placed in the NFL’s concussion protocol.
— Tad Dickman (@Tdickman89) September 8, 2016
It was first reported that Odrick, a 6-5, 298-pound lineman who signed a five-year, $42.5 million dollar contract with Jacksonville during the offseason, had only injured his jaw on Wednesday but after further evaluation, the team said he suffered a concussion.
Odrick was cleared for physical activity so he will still be at practice for conditioning and to observe, said senior manager of public relations for the Jaguars Ted Dickman.
If Jacksonville can’t use Odrick in the opener, it’s likely that Tyson Alualu will start in his place. He started in 13 games last season and finished with 18 tackles and two sacks.
Odrick registered 23.5 tackles and a team-leading 5.5 sacks last year in his first season with the Jaguars. There’s no telling how long he could be sidelined as the NFL protocol doesn’t mandate a time frame before athletes move from one step to the next.
A player may be considered for return to practice once “the player has returned to baseline status with rest and exertion, has repeat nueropsychological testing which is interpreted by the neuropsychology consultant as back to baseline levels of functioning, and has completed the Return to Participation Protocol” according to the NFL.
Without Odrick, the Jaguars could have issues with the pass rush as he’s excelled there in his seven-year career. According to Pro Football Focus, Odrick was the fourth top-rated free agent interior defensive lineman in 2015.
“Despite only one sack, he still finished with 28 hurries, after posting 46 hurries to pair with a +11.8 pass rush grade in 2013. He’s been a little less consistent against the run, grading around average the last couple years.”