The Jacksonville Jaguars are slowly but surely heading in the right direction, and one significant piece to their progression was drafted with the third overall pick this year in pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr. During his first practice with the Jaguars on the first day of rookie mini-camp, however, Fowler went down with an apparent knee injury and had to be helped off the field.
According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Fowler suffered a torn ACL that will cause him to miss his entire rookie season.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Jaguars' 1st-round pick Dante Fowler tore his ACL and is out for the season, league source tells ESPN. Just wow.</p>— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) <a href="https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/596789537621278720">May 8, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
Obviously, this is just brutal news for the Jaguars. It's awful and it's a significant setback for the team this year. They weren't very good in 2014 but are building a solid group of core players, but without Fowler for 2015 it will be even more of a struggle than it would have been anyways for Jacksonville.
For the Colts, this does mean that they won't face Fowler in 2015. The Colts play the Jaguars in weeks four and thirteen this season and were originally going to face an added pass rush threat in Fowler, but that won't be the case for another year. And while that might make things a little easier on Andrew Luck and the offense, it'd be a good thing for the AFC South to be improved - something Fowler would have helped with. Even as a Colts fan, you hate to hear this news. We also must note that this will be the second year in a row that the top defensive player in the draft, taken by an AFC South team, will miss most of his rookie season due to injury. Last year, the Texans' number one overall pick Jadeveon Clowney played in just four games before being shut down for the season with a knee injury, and now this year the Jaguars' number three overall pick Dante Fowler will likely miss the entire season with a knee injury.
That's brutal and just awful news for both the franchise and for Fowler.
Here's a video of the injury, taken by a fan at the Jaguars' mini-camp today:
<blockquote class="twitter-video" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Jags new Leo pass rusher Dante Fowler Jr tweeks knee at rookie mini camp. Was walking with trainers and carted later. <a href="http://t.co/nkl8aoqC6x">pic.twitter.com/nkl8aoqC6x</a></p>— Chad Weeks (@cweeks85) <a href="https://twitter.com/cweeks85/status/596744674318098432">May 8, 2015</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>