Rookie Josh Oliver Being Placed on Injured Reserve
During the 2019 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars selected rookie tight end Josh Oliver with the 69th overall pick with the hope that he'd be able to instantly give Nick Foles the kind of weapon at the position that he grew accustomed to with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Those hopes didn't materialize during the early parts of Oliver's rookie season thanks to a hamstring injury that made him miss the first six games of the season. Now, Oliver will be sidelined for the rest of the season after being placed on the team's injured reserve list with a back injury he sustained in Week 11 vs. the Indianapolis Colts.
In four games, Oliver recorded three catches for 15 yards and never recorded multiple catches in a game, making his rookie season ultimately one to forget.
"I think that the one thing (is), we were excited about Josh and then obviously he had the injury early and was out," Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said during a conference call with media on Monday. "And then he started to come back and it was a question of you know, trying to get him - is he going to become more involved. And we were watching him play in practice and you know, he was really doing a good job."
While he never became a big part of the Jaguars' offense in 2019, and ultimately only played with Foles for not even one full game, Marrone said the team is still optimistic about Oliver and his development, noting that the 22-year old was improving before his injury.
"I want to make sure that - you know, we feel real good about him going forward because of the way he played and what he was showing and really, he was getting a lot better," Marrone said. "It is a shame that is going to take a backseat."
The Jaguars now have each of their top three tight ends from training camp on injured reserve, with Oliver joining James O'Shaughnessy (ACL) and Geoff Swaim (concussion/ankle).
In corresponding moves, Jacksonville signed free agent tight end Nick O'Leary and promoted rookie tight end Charles Jones from the practice squad to the active roster. The team also signed tight end Matt Sokol to its practice squad. Defensive end Lerentee McCray was also placed on injured reserve with a hamstring injury.
The Oliver injury is a disappointing end to what ended up being a lost season for the Jaguars' third-round pick. He never looked overwhelmed as a rookie but injuries just took away too many opportunities for him to see the field. Expect him to still have a sizable role in the offense next season.