The Jacksonville Jaguars officially placed center and captain Brandon Linder on injured reserve on Tuesday, a procedural move that will keep for the the veteran offensive lineman sidelined for the next few weeks.
Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer said on Monday that Linder would be expected to miss the next 4-5 weeks, which is a positive result considering Linder was carted off the field following his ankle/MCL injury on Sunday.
“Yeah, high ankle [sprain] and MCL [sprain]. So, as bad as that sounds, it was much better than the initial [report]," Meyer said on Monday. "So, we’re going to get him back, we’re going to—four to five [weeks].”
Linder played 56 snaps against the Tennessee Titans in Week 5's 37-19 loss before being injured on a failed fourth-and-goal attempt. Linder was then replaced by backup center Tyler Shatley for the final 15 snaps of the game.
"He's like a son. He's everything this team stands for. It looks like it's not as bad as they
first thought," Meyer said following Sunday's game.
Linder, a five-time captain and the first golden-patch captain in franchise history, has been a core part of the Jaguars' offensive line since the franchise drafted him in the third-round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Through multiple regimes, offenses, coordinators, and quarterbacks, Linder has been a consistent presence for the Jaguars.
"Yeah, it's tough. Brandon is a great player, great person. Love being on the same team as him," Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence said following the loss to the Titans.
"He's just the kind of guy that you want, who's fully committed, all in. A guy that’s—I think it's his eighth year—he's an older guy, but he's just so committed to this team and turning it around. Won't find a better guy."
Linder has started 84 games for the Jaguars since his rookie season, with the last 66 of those starts coming at center. Linder has consistently been pointed to as the lynchpin of the offensive line, so how Shatley responds in his place over the next month will be a critical element to the Jaguars' offensive success or lack thereof.
With Linder on injured reserve, the Jaguars have filled his spot by signing offensive lineman Rashaad Coward to the active roster. Coward spent the first four weeks of the season on the Pittsburgh Steelers' active roster.
Coward has played in 30 career games and made 15 starts, splitting time at left guard, right guard, and tight tackle. From 2017-20, he played with the Bears and appeared in all 16 games in 2020, making three starts at guard and two starts at tackle. He started a career-high 10 games for Chicago in 2019, all at guard. He originally entered the NFL as a rookie free agent with the Bears in 2017