It was a bit of a shock to everybody when Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan said in an interview with TheStreet on Thursday that he thinks disgruntled star cornerback Jalen Ramsey will play against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday despite missing the last two games with a back injury.
Count Jaguars defensive coordinator Todd Wash as one of those who first heard the news when Khan's interview went viral as well.
"I was just informed and that kind of stuff, but you know, if Jalen does play obviously we have a plan for him to play," Wash said during his weekly scheduled press conference on Thursday.
The press conference took place just minutes after the news of Khan's interview broke. Obviously it was great to see him out on the grass yesterday, out there communicating with his teammates and that kind of stuff.
Ramsey practiced, albeit in a limited capacity, for the first time on Wednesday since suffering a back injury against the Tennessee Titans in week 3. He was once again expected to practice on Thursday.
This came off of the heels of Ramsey missing seven consecutive practices with the back injury, an illness and due to traveling to Nashville for the birth of his second child. This all also follows Ramsey making a trade request following the team's week 2 loss to the Houston Texans.
"Obviously it was great to see him out on the grass yesterday, out there communicating with his teammates and that kind of stuff," Wash said Thursday. "I love the energy that he brings to practice. But you know, at the same time if he doesn’t play I think it is our job as coaches, we have to develop a plan for him if he doesn’t play."
Wash reaffirmed he and his best player have a strong relationship on Thursday despite past reports of Ramsey's displeasure with Wash's scheme.
"He has matured a lot, and so have I just dealing with Jalen," he said. "I think we have a very good personal relationship now. If you we're out there, obviously we were joking and laughing and having a good time.”
While Khan said he expects Ramsey to play in Sunday's must-win game against the Saints and elite wide receiver Michael Thomas, it appears to still be up in the air if Ramsey takes the field.
Simply put, having Ramsey available Sunday would be a blessing for Wash and a defense which has allowed 51 points over the last two games. Wash said Ramsey's presence alone creates an impact, and this would be especially important against Thomas.
"Obviously he is a guy you can put over there and, for the most part, you say, ‘I don’t have to worry about that wide receiver.'" Wash said.
"When Jalen is healthy and stuff like that, we put him on the best guys that they have. So he allows us to do some things schematically."
If Ramsey plays Sunday, he will almost certainly follow Thomas all over the field. If he misses his third straight game, expect A.J. Bouye to be matched up against Thomas.