Jaguars Without Dede Westbrook, D.J. Hayden vs. Texans
The Jacksonville Jaguars provided some worrisome injury updates for today's pivotal AFC South game vs. the Houston Texans in London, with a few key players being ruled inactive.
The two most notable inactives are slot wide receiver Dede Westbrook and nickel cornerback D.J. Hayden, each of whom has played massive roles in Jacksonville's 2019 season. Each player is inactive with neck/shoulder injuries.
Westbrook has been dealing with a shoulder injury for a few weeks, entering the Jaguars' Week 7 & 8 games with the questionable designation. He toughed it out those weeks, but he left last week's game with the injury and did not return.
His absence is massive for Jacksonville considering the impact he has had on the team's offense. He is second on the team in targets (55), third in receptions (32) and third in receiving yards (383).
Westbrook is also utilized as a punt returner, but the Jaguars seemed to cover their bases at that spot when the team promoted rookie wide receiver Michael Walker to the active roster on Saturday. Walker has experience returning punts from the preseason and training camp, and will likely perform in that role along with wide receiver Keelan Cole today.
Cole will take Westbrook's spot in the offense, with C.J. Board taking Cole's previous spot as the No. 4 wide receiver.
As for Hayden, Jacksonville loses their most consistent defensive back and a player who has been on the field for 73% of the team's defensive snaps. He has 26 tackles with three tackles for loss, four quarterback hits, a sack, and a forced fumble. He has brought stability and physicality to the Jacksonville secondary, and his absence will surely be felt against a Houston receiving group with DeAndre Hopkins and Kenny Stills.
Breon Borders will likely take Hayden's spot in the defense, though Tre Herndon has experience in the nickel spot as well, defensive coordinator Todd Wash said on Thursday.