Rackley's injury shows line's lack of depth

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars are a young team with little depth, so news that starting left guard Will Rackley should be ready for the regular-season opener against Kansas City was a relief for coach Gus Bradley.

"That’s what we’re hearing, that he has a good chance [to play against the Chiefs]," Bradley said after Monday’s practice. "The one good thing for the offensive linemen, you see them play with that type of injury. First [we thought] it was a knee, then it was a high ankle sprain, and they ruled both of those out.

"Now I think he’s heading in the right direction and I feel like he has a chance to be back."

The 6-foot-3, 310-pound Rackley was hurt early in the Jaguars’ 31-24 loss to Philadelphia last Saturday night. Mike Brewster, a second-year undrafted free agent out of Ohio State, took his place against the Eagles and would start in his place should Rackley be unable to play on Sept. 8.

Brewster started seven games at left guard last season and is the Jaguars’ top interior reserve. He’s one of only three reserves who have played in more than three games, which is an indication of the Jaguars’ lack of depth along the offensive line.

Guard Pat McQuistan is in his eighth season and has played in 72 games (11 starts) in his career. Tackle Cameron Bradfield has played in 23 games in his two seasons. The only other reserve lineman with game experience is tackle Austin Pasztor, who has played in three.

That lack of depth is not surprising for a team that is in the early part of a roster overhaul, but it’s an issue the Jaguars will have to battle throughout the season. Bradley has said the team will be active on the waiver wire and offensive line is an area to expect some additions when teams make the final cut to the 53-man roster later this week.

It helps that the team has some versatility among the players. Brewster, for example, can play guard or center. So can Rackley. Bradfield can play right or left tackle.

But that only helps so much. The Jaguars have to upgrade the line of scrimmage to have enough depth to withstand a minor injury that would keep a starter out for a few games.