Jacksonville Jaguars outside linebacker Dekoda Watson missed all of the team’s minicamp practices and most of OTAs with an unspecified groin issue, and we now know that Gus Bradley’s “Otto” linebacker was suffering from a sports hernia. Per a source close to the Florida Times Union’s Ryan O’Halloran, Watson underwent sports hernia surgery in late June and is expected to miss the start of training camp. O’Halloran writes that the Jaguars could place Watson on the active/PUP, but players can be activated from the active/PUP list at any point in time during camp.
Watson signed a three-year deal worth just $6.25 million, with $1.5 million being guaranteed. The 26-year-old figures to be a key part of the Jaguars new-look front seven, which should be an effective cover for a young safety duo and one of the league’s most underrated cornerback groupings. Last season, the Florida State product recorded a career-high 42 tackles and two sacks, and he also intercepted the first pass of his career in his final season with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Locked in as a starter in his first year in Jacksonville, it would be a huge surprise for this injury to cause Watson to miss any regular season time. O’Halloran reports that Watson is expected to be ready for the team’s opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, and his athleticism and versatility as a linebacker will be important on the strong-side of the Jaguars linebackers corps. He can blitz, cover, plays solid run defense, and he is a sure tackler.