JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Game info:
Kickoff: 7:00 p.m.
Location: Georgia Dome, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Channel 4
Radio: WJXL 1010-AM/92.5-FM
Keeping an updated roster nearby will be handy for fans who tune into the Jacksonville Jaguars final preseason game, on Thursday night against the Atlanta Falcons. As is customary around the NFL, the Jaguars starters aren’t likely to play. That will also be the case with some of their key reserves. With less than two weeks until the season opener against Green Bay, there’s no need to risk injuries.
What you will find on the field Thursday night is a host of young players that are fighting for a roster spot in addition to auditioning for other teams. For the Jaguars, we will also get an extended look at some players who could fill larger roles in the future. Here are three things to look for against the Falcons:
Myles Jack switching positions:
From day one the Jaguars have plugged Myles Jack in at middle linebacker. The hope is that by learning that position the rookie would have a better idea of the responsibilities of everyone on the defense. Jack has admitted that at times he’s been overwhelmed with the task of receiving a play call and making sure that everyone is lined up correctly.
With Telvin Smith unlikely to play against Atlanta, Jack will start at weak-side linebacker. This will allow him to play in a role that he grew accustomed to at UCLA. If Jack has success against the Falcons, that will give the Jaguars more options for how they’ll use him during the regular season.
Will Brandon Allen make the 53?
The Jaguars spent a sixth round pick in this year’s draft on quarterback Brandon Allen. Their hope is that eventually he can be their back-up quarterback of the future. Blake Bortles won’t play against Atlanta and if Chad Henne does suit up, he won’t be in the game very long. Gus Bradley said “you will see him a lot,” when asked how much time Allen will see against the Falcons.
If Allen shows well against Atlanta the Jaguars likely won’t risk stashing him on the practice squad. Another team will surely make a claim on Allen. Barring any unforeseen circumstances this will be the last game action that Allen see’s this season.
In all likelihood 40-45 spots on the Jaguars 53-man roster are already spoken for. For the players fighting for those last eight or so spots, this is their final opportunity to prove why they deserve a roster spot. These players also won’t only be evaluated by how they produce on offense or defense. If a player makes a big play on special teams against Atlanta, that could be their ticket to staying in Jacksonville.