The Jacksonville Jaguars are going to enter Sunday's game against the Atlanta Falcons shorthanded at a position of need as they look for their third win of the season, with head coach Urban Meyer ruling out cornerback Shaquill Griffin on Friday for the Week 12 bout.
Griffin was concussed before halftime in Sunday's 30-10 loss to the San Francisco 49ers and has since been placed in the concussion protocol. Meyer said on Tuesday that Griffin is day-to-day but today it became official that the Jaguars' No. 1 cornerback would miss the game due to the concussion protocol.
Griffin has started all 10 games for the Jaguars this season, recording 36 tackles, five pass deflections, and one forced fumble in his first season with the team. With Griffin sidelined, the Jaguars will lean on No. 33 overall pick Tyson Campbell, Nevin Lawson, Chris Claybrooks, and potentially Tre Herndon as they look to replace Griffin's place in the lineup.
Griffin has played a large role for the Jaguars in 2021 after signing a three-year, $40 million deal with the team as a free agent this offseason in hopes of Griffin becoming a catalyst to the team's makeover of the secondary. Griffin has started all 10 games for the Jaguars this year and has spent much of the season shadowing the opposing team's top wide receiver, a role the Jaguars entrusted him with as Campbell continued his development.
"Yeah, I think I turned into a traveling corner this year. They pick a number and away we go, sideline, locker room, bathroom. It's pretty much a thing now," Griffin said after the Jaguars' 9-6 win over the Buffalo Bills when Griffin shadowed Stefon Diggs.
"Well, I'll let y'all evaluate my performance. I feel like I did really good, oh, with that forced fumble, if anybody seen it. Got to make sure that's on the stat sheet. I got that ball out. But no, I feel like I did a phenomenal job on him, as well. That's someone I've got a lot of respect for. He'll tell you himself, a couple players coming up to him, I love your game. There's something there. I’ve been battling this guy since I got into the league, so I got much respect and I love going against him. So yeah, I feel like my performance was really good, but I'll let you guys run some stuff on media and I'll see what y'all put."
While Griffin has yet to register a takeaway in 2021, he has been the Jaguars' most consistent cornerback. The Jaguars will likely not face Calvin Ridley on Sunday, but the Falcons are a team that throws it a high clip and frequently uses alien tight end Kyle Pitts as a wide receiver, putting more pressure on the Jaguars' secondary than normal.
"He’s absolutely a wide receiver. He’s as fast as any wide receiver out there," Jaguars defensive coordinator Joe Cullen said oHe’s bigger and that’s another great point, they’ll move him around everywhere. He is in the tight end position at times, but most of the time, he’s out at one by himself and everybody’s on the other side. They’ll motion him, get him to exactly where they want to put him.”