The good news starts with the potential return of cornerback Rashean Mathis to the starting lineup.
Mathis, who tore his ACL late last season, has played in a limited role over the first two weeks of the season, but may be ready to return to his normal role on Sunday. After playing exclusively in nickel packages in the first game, Mathis saw his snaps increase this past weekend and he got on the field in base packages towards the end of the game.
Mathis was expected to compete with free agent signing Aaron Ross in training camp, but his knee did not allow him the opportunity. Through two weeks, Ross has been disappointing and would likely fall back into the nickel role if Mathis returns to his normal role on the outside.
Mathis’ partner on the other side of the field, Derek Cox, could also return to normal action this weekend.
Cox, who missed almost all of the preseason and first two games with a hamstring injury, has a chance to get back on the field Sunday. His return to the lineup would provide a significant boost to a Jaguars defense that has struggled mightily to start the season.
The Jaguars do not, however, expect to have linebacker Daryl Smith back on the field this Sunday.
Smith is still struggling to recover from a groin injury and his absence has hurt the Jaguars pass and run defense.