Jacksonville Jaguars offensive guard Will Rackley missed the entire 2012 NFL season with a high-ankle sprain. For that reason, the 23-year-old is excited to get back on the field and compete for a starting job.
Rackley struggled mightily in his rookie season. Even though he started 14 games in 2011, he was considered to be one of the worst guards strictly based on performance. He worked hard in the offseason but his ankle never gave him a chance to play. With all of that being said, Rackley will practice as the starting left guard in training camp this summer.
The Jaguars are hoping that Rackley missing an entire season did him some good. To be forced to sit on the sidelines and watch his team compete without him might have done something to him mentally.
“It had to have been very difficult,” Jaguars veteran center Brad Meester said, according to Jaguars.com. “When you’re in the offseason you can’t wait to get back. There’s a burning desire to get back out there, especially as you get into your second year, because you’re out of that rookie year, where it’s chaotic. Now, you know what’s going on, so you can see there’s truly a fire to get back in there.”
Rackley has worked very hard in the offseason to prepare for the starting role. Many outside of the organization do not believe he can handle it, strictly based on what they witnessed in 2011. However, the players who see him every day have confidence that he is the man for the job.
“He’s worked hard – there’s no question about that,” Meester told Jaguars.com. “What’s really impressed me is when I came back from our five weeks off (in late June and early July), I came back a couple of weeks early and he was here every day running and working hard. It shows.
“He’s ready to come back. He cares and he wants to come back and get this thing going.”
Hopefully, Rackley can be one of the huge improvements on the offensive line, which was certainly an area of the team that struggled last season.