Jaguars Lose Top Rookie Dante Fowler to Knee Injury
The Jacksonville Jaguars drafted stud pass rusher Dante Fowler this year to help turn their defense into a fearsome group. It looks like they’ll have to wait to see what kind of an impact he will have.
Per reports, Fowler suffered a torn ACL during the first day of practice and will miss his entire rookie season.
It’s a tough break for both the Jags and Fowler, as the number three overall pick was set to be a major force on the edge. Easily one of the top pass rushers in the draft, Fowler brought elite athleticism and top notch pass rushing ability to the table for Jacksonville, and was the driving force behind a young team that felt it could be on the rise in 2015.
With Fowler down for the count before he could really ever get going, it’s worth wondering if the Jags will remain grounded this season.
Fowler was set to emerge as a starter in his first season with the Jags, but with that no longer being the case, the team will turn to Chris Clemons.
Jacksonville brought ex-Seahawks rush linebacker Clemson in on a four-year deal last off-season, and he registered a solid eight sacks in his first season with the team. If the Jags are to get even better on defense in 2015, he’ll be asked to do even more as an edge rusher.
Long Road Ahead
Fowler faces a lengthy recovery, as with any knee injury, and it’s worth wondering if a sudden ACL tear will sap him of his trademark explosiveness and overall athleticism. The Jaguars will surely hope not, and with the injury happening so early in May, early indications are he should make a full recovery by next summer.
For now, the Jaguars need to go about their business as they normally would, and just forget about any potential impact their stud rookie might have had on their defense. Luckily Jacksonville already had an improving defense in 2014 and was among the league’s best when it came to getting to the quarterback.
None of this helps the Jags’ chances at making the playoffs in 2015, but few would have argue they had much of a chance to push their way into the post-season with Fowler, anyways.
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