Ben Bartch return highlights initial Jaguars depth chart for Colts game

Head coach Doug Pederson of the Jacksonville Jaguars looks on against the Detroit Lions during the preseason game at Ford Field on August 19, 2023 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images) (Nic Antaya, 2023 Nic Antaya)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Game week is here for the Jaguars. And so are a few surprises on the depth chart.

The Jaguars went unbeaten in the preseason for just the second time in franchise history and enter 2023 as a sleeper pick for the Super Bowl. NBC Sports’ Peter King this week pegged the Jaguars to finish 13-4 and earn the top seed in the AFC playoffs.

The team unveiled its depth chart for the opener at Indianapolis on Sunday with a couple notable roster mentions. Ben Bartch, who missed the bulk of last year after a serious knee injury, will start at left guard. And veteran Adam Gotsis will fill the defensive end position in place of injured starter DaVon Hamilton.

Those players will get a shot at helping the Jaguars snap a five-game losing streak in Indianapolis, a place the Jaguars have traditionally struggled in. Jacksonville is 5-17 all-time against the Colts in Indy.

Bartch’s return is a big plus for the offensive line, and it’s a welcome back for the fourth-year player.

He won the starting left guard job last year in camp, but suffered a devastating knee injury that was reported to be a dislocation and ligament damage in a Week 5 game. The team placed him on the physically unable to perform list before training camp and then activated him in mid-August.

His return was expected, but it is significant for an offensive line that has seen some modifications in Year 2 under coach Doug Pederson. Jacksonville saw right tackle Jawaan Taylor leave in free agency, then drafted his replacement (Anton Harrison) in the first round last April.

Harrison looked sharp in the preseason but was limited due to a shoulder issue. Left tackle Cam Robinson will miss the first four games due to a suspension for performance enhancing drugs. And Tyler Shatley, who is listed as a backup to center Luke Fortner, missed a chunk of camp while dealing with atrial fibrillation. Other interesting Week 1 roster tidbits — second-year players Gregory Junior and Montaric Brown are listed as backups to cornerbacks Tre Herndon and Tyson Campbell, respectively.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.