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Jags, Broncos look to snap 4-game losing streaks in London

Sportsnaut
Oct 23, 2022; Jacksonville, Florida, USA;  Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence (16) warms up before a game against the New York Giants at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

The availability of quarterback Russell Wilson is the main question concerning the Denver Broncos as they prepare for a crucial game against the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday in London.

Both the Broncos (2-5) and the Jaguars (2-5) enter the game on four-game losing streaks.

Wilson, who was out against the New York Jets last week due to a nagging hamstring injury, has struggled in his first season with Denver. The losing streak has also put first-year coach Nathaniel Hackett on the hot seat.

“It’s about what goes on in our building, and how we all communicate, how we all talk. I haven’t felt that others might have, but we block out that noise,” Hackett said Monday. “We don’t really have a lot of time to look at it because we just want to keep all of our heads down and do better, both as coaching staff, players across the board.

“Everybody wants to come together and be able to win and turn this thing around and that’s our goal. That’s our main focus and that’s what we’re all going to keep looking at.”

Wilson, who was limited in practice on Wednesday, told reporters this week that he felt great and was “ready to rock” come Sunday.

The Broncos, who traded a package that included two first-round and two second-round picks to acquire Wilson from Seattle before signing him to a five-year, $245 million extension with $165 million guaranteed this offseason, rank last in the NFL in scoring (14.3 points per game) and 23rd in yards per game (328.6).

Wilson ranks 19th among quarterbacks with 1,442 yards, but has thrown only five touchdown passes (tied for 26th in the NFL) in six games. He only has a 58.6 completion percentage and 83.4 passer rating.

The Jaguars already underwent a significant change to their roster this week when they traded running back James Robinson to the Jets for a conditional pick that will either be a fifth- or sixth-rounder in the 2023 draft.

Robinson was the Jaguars lead back in 2020 and 2021 and returned from injury this season to average 4.2 yards per carry. However, the emergence of Travis Etienne in recent weeks facilitated the move. Robinson, who Jacksonville originally signed as an undrafted free agent, ran for 2,177 yards in 35 games (32 starts) for the Jaguars.

“I have a ton of respect for James,” Jaguars coach Doug Pederson told ESPN on Wednesday. “He put himself in a position to help our football team, and now he gets a chance to do that with the Jets and wishing him well.”

Etienne has run for 415 yards and a touchdown on 68 carries so far this season with 14 receptions for 151 yards.

Lawrence’s development as a second-year starter has influenced Jacksonville’s results so far this season. Lawrence, who threw a league-worst 17 interceptions as a rookie, has only four in seven starts this season and has already thrown nine touchdown passes after throwing only 12 in 2021.

Six Broncos did not practice on Wednesday.

Those non-participants included outside linebacker Baron Browning (hip), tackle Cameron Fleming (quad), defensive lineman Mike Purcell (knee) and safety Caden Sterns (hip).

Wilson (hamstring) was limited in Wednesday’s practicem as was inside linebacker Josey Jewell (knee).

For the Jaguars, only wide receiver Jamal Agnew (knee) was limited.

–Field Level Media