The Jacksonville Jaguars have been starting Will Blackmon and Alan Ball at their starting cornerback spots, but the Jaguars will be re-inserting Dwayne Gratz into the starting lineup after not starting him in two-CB sets over the past two weeks. The Jaguars were easing Gratz back into things following his return from a severe high-ankle sprain, which caused him to miss five games. Gratz was able to return in Week 7, and he’ll be starting tomorrow against the rival Tennessee Titans following the bye week.
According to the Florida Times Union’s Ryan O’Halloran, the Jaguars will now start Gratz over Blackmon, who has looked impressive this season and has shown excellent ball skills. It’s unclear as to why Blackmon will be benched in favor of Ball, but Gratz’s return to the starting lineup shows that this team has a lot of faith in him. He looked good before the ankle sprain, and Gratz has a bright future ahead of him as a rookie out of UConn.
Here’s what Gratz said about his return to the starting lineup, “I feel like it’s a big chance. Since I got here, I’ve been mentally preparing myself for any situation and I feel like [Bradley] trusts me to give me the opportunity to show what I can do.”
Gus Bradley has always been high on Gratz, which isn’t much of a surprise. He plays with the physical kind of style that Bradley loves, and I think Gratz has shown up very well in run defense in the limited times that I have seen him play this season.