Two of the Jaguars’ pass rushers will be out of the mix to start the season. In addition to Dawuane Smoot staying on the PUP list, the Jags will be without DaVon Hamilton, who landed on IR on Thursday.
Jacksonville shifted Hamilton and offensive lineman Cooper Hodges to IR, sidelining each for at least four games to start the year, and signed veteran D-lineman Angelo Blackson and O-lineman Blake Hance.
A back issue sidelined Hamilton late in training camp. The Jaguars had given the former third-round pick a lucrative extension — three years, $34.5MM — this offseason. But both he and Smoot, who re-signed late this summer, will make delayed debuts for the defending AFC South champions. Neither can return until at least Week 5.
Hamilton moved into the Jags’ starting lineup on a full-time basis last season, starting 14 games. Pro Football Focus rated Hamilton as a top-30 interior D-lineman in 2022, but his status will be worth monitoring ahead of his fourth NFL slate. The Jags announced recently Hamilton’s back trouble is a “non-football-related medical issue.” Doug Pederson said recently Hamilton does not have a return timetable. The Jaguars guaranteed the Ohio State alum $20MM at signing.
While teams often use post-cutdown-day IR moves to bring back veterans who went through training camp with the squad, the Jags are adding Blackson, who went to camp with the Ravens. Baltimore released the interior D-lineman on cutdown day, doing so after signing him in the offseason. Blackson, 30, is going into his ninth NFL season.
The Jaguars move Blackson closer to an AFC South career sweep. The former Titans draftee spent two seasons in Tennessee and three in Houston earlier in his career. Blackson migrated to Arizona and then Chicago, playing the past two seasons with the Bears. With Hamilton out indefinitely, the Jags have some insurance in Blackson, who has made 42 career starts. The eight-year veteran finished the 2021 season with 2.5 sacks and nine quarterback hits. In 15 games last year, Blackson did not register a sack and tallied one QB hit.