In a surprising move, the Jacksonville Jaguars announced on Monday that they had waived veteran defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan after just three games with the team.
The Jaguars don't have much depth at all at defensive tackle, specifically at three-technique, so releasing Jernigan after less than a month into the season is an unexpected move. As a whole, Jacksonville's defense has just three sacks and nine tackles for loss, so it isn't like the Jaguars have a ton of in-house replacements for Jernigan who can step in and make an impact.
Jernigan signed with the team as a free agent on Aug. 17 and was seen at the time as an important addition to a defensive line that had been ravaged by opt outs. But through just a few games, Jernigan is once again a free agent and looking for a place on a defense.
Demetrius Harvey was the first to report Jernigan's release.
Jernigan appeared in all three games for the Jaguars this season, recording one tackle and one quarterback hit during that period. In three appearances, Jernigan played just 54 snaps, which accounted for 27% of Jacksonville's defensive snaps.
Jacksonville's other options at defensive tackle include former first-rounder Taven Bryan, undrafted rookie Doug Costin, veteran nose tackle Abry Jones, rookie nose tackle DaVon Hamilton and Carl Davis once his suspension is over. Only two of Jacksonville's defensive linemen have recorded sacks this year, however, and none play defensive tackle.
"I think last night we pressured quite a bit, but you could see at times when max protection comes into play, now all of a sudden, and you’re not getting to the quarterback, that’s a long time. It’s tough for us to run with some of these guys or some of these bigger guys," head coach Doug Marrone said after the Jaguars' 31-13 loss to the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football.
"I think it’s a combination of a lot of things, so we have to just keep working to improve fundamentally first. We’re in position, but we haven’t defended many balls. We haven’t in the last two games. We have to get our hands on more balls. In the first game, we did. [In] the last two we haven’t at all, so those are the things that we’re looking at and trying to improve upon.”