JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A few hours after arriving in Jacksonville Saturday evening, the team made a couple of early downgrades, one of which came as a surprise.
Right tackle Marcus Cannon (left calf) has been dealing with his injury since early August, but managed to play on a rotational basis with backup LaAdrian Waddle in Week 1. The Patriots have opted to sit Cannon for the Jags game, however, meaning Waddle will likely get the start in place of Cannon today. To add depth at the position, New England promoted second-year player Cole Croston from the practice squad. Croston will dress for the Jaguars game.
The other Saturday downgrade saw rookie defensive back Keion Crossen (hamstring) ruled out versus the Jags after he suffered his injury during Friday's practice back in Foxborough. Crossen was also inactive in Week 1 against Houston, although that was as a healthy scratch (not listed on the injury report).
Running back Kenjon Barner, signed this past week along with wide receiver Corey Coleman, is a healthy scratch, as is Coleman. Barner was thought to have the best chance of being active, given his abilities as a punt return specialist, but it seems the team thought he would not be quite ready to contribute offensively, having arrived in New England so recently.
Another factor for Barner's deactivation is the health of fellow ball carriers Rex Burkhead (concussion) and rookie Sony Michel (knee). Limited this week during practices, Burkhead was first listed as questionable, but seemed good enough during pregame warmups here in Jacksonville. Michel, meantime, will be making his NFL debut after being held out of Week 1 action.
The final three inactive players are healthy scratches who also sat versus Houston last week: second-year defensive end Derek Rivers, veteran o-lineman Brian Schwenke, and rookie cornerback J.C. Jackson.
On the other sideline, Jacksonville had one major injury that dominated discussion this past week. Star running back Leonard Fournette sustained a hamstring injury in Week 1 and failed to practice at all over the past few days. In another sign that he was unlikely to play against New England, the Jaguars promoted another running back, Brandon Wilds, from their practice squad. They then made Fournette's fate official Sunday when he topped the Jags' inactive list.
Sunday morning, the Jags had an injury scare with d-lineman Calais Campbell, a late addition to the injury report with a knee injury. Listed as questionable, Campbell will be active against the Patriots, but his health will be something to monitor throughout today's game.