Jason Babin’s Health A Major Concern For Jacksonville Jaguars Pass Rush

By Joey Farbo
Jacksonville Jaguars Jason Babin
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars have had one of the worst pass rushes in the NFL over the past couple of seasons, but did nothing this offseason to upgrade a unit that only managed 20 sacks in 2012.

The Jaguars did, however, add Jason Babin off of the waiver wire late last season and are counting on him returning to his 2011 form in which he recorded 18 sacks for the Philadelphia Eagles. The question is whether or not Babin will be healthy enough to return to his elite pass rusher status for the Jaguars in 2013.

The Jaguars announced on Tuesday that Babin had undergone groin surgery that will keep him out until training camp, but at age 33 it is not crazy to believe that his best playing years are behind him. The Jaguars put their faith in an aging pass rusher coming off of an injury a few years ago and unfortunately Aaron Kampman was not the same player.

New Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley is counting on Babin being able to flourish in the LEO role in his defensive scheme. It is a role that best fits Babin’s skills as a speedy edge rusher whose only concern is to create havoc in the opponent’s backfield.

After Babin, the Jaguars are lacking in players who have a proven track record of sacking the quarterback, so having him be healthy and productive throughout the 2013 season is a must if the unit is going to improve. If Babin struggles to stay healthy, it could be another long season for an otherwise very young Jaguars defense.

You can follow Joey on twitter @joeyfarbo.

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