When Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone passed Josh Lambo in the hall on Monday, something stood out.
“He’s off crutches, so he’s walking around.”
The Jaguars kicker has been on IR after suffering a hip injury during the Jags Week 2 loss to the Tennessee Titans. On replay, he appears to happen during the squib kick that went wrong at the end of the first half.
Marrone and staff were forced to call up rookie Brandon Wright, only to see him suffer a groin injury after going 1-2 on extra points in the Week 3 loss to the Miami Dolphins.
On Monday the Jaguars worked out other kickers and signed former Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills place kicker Stephen Hauschka, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
An hour before those tryouts began, Marrone told local reporters, “if we feel like we can upgrade ourselves or don’t feel that Brandon [Wright] is going to be able to recover or whatever it may be, then obviously we may make some moves.”
Wright, for the time being, is still being evaluated. He won’t practice today (Monday) and Marrone said Wright will begin work with the trainers on Tuesday to see where he is recovery wise. That is also the case for safety Andrew Wingard and offensive lineman Brandon Linder who will practice to the side on Monday.
Wide receiver DJ Chark is waiting test results. Said Marrone, “DJ I should know more about here in a little bit. We’re just running some tests and as soon as those testing levels come back, he’ll be ready to go. So, we’re just waiting on those.”
While Chark and Linder are immensely valuable and Wingard’s experience can be crucial, the one man unit of place kicker can be hit the hardest due to injury. Lambo has been near automatic in his time with the Jaguars, making 75 of 79 field goal attempts with Jacksonville since he signed with the team on Oct. 17, 2017.
He finished with the best field goal percentage in the league in 2019. He has also made 12 of 13 field goal attempts of at least 50 yards with the Jaguars, including four 50-plus yard field goals over his last three games before being injured versus the Titans.
With someone that dependable, Marrone explains there’s no sense of not knowing what they had till it was gone. They’ve always known the ace in the hole they posses with Josh Lambo.
“I don’t ever feel like he was never appreciated. I think we always knew how good he was and consistent he was, and we’ve always appreciated that. We signed him to a contract, he was voted [to be] one of the captains…from where we’re sitting, the coaches and the players, we have a great appreciation for him and it’s unfortunate that he had that injury because, obviously, he’s very consistent, works extremely hard.”
Now he’ll work to come back for this team as soon as possible. League rules stipulate he must stay on the IR once placed there for at least three weeks, at which point he’s allowed to return to practice. The Jaguars are a third of the way through that process and now possess a new kicker on the roster, but Doug Marrone says the plan remains the same in relation to Josh Lambo.
“We’ll just work on rehab and try to get him back as soon as we can.”