It looks like Jake Long’s injury is a little more serious than Tony Sparano let on when he told the media “What I’ve done is I’m just going to really take it really slow with Jake,” he said on Friday. “I know what Jake needs to be ready and I don’t plan on really putting him out there before that.”
Hopefully, those words have some validity to them and Sparano is simply making sure Big Jake has all the time he needs to adequately heal up from shoulder and knee injuries a year ago.
Because Long has been reportedly placed on the Physically Unable to Perform List, threatening his availability for training camp, the preseason, and even Week 1.
If it came to that, and he’s still on the PUP list for the Monday night opener against the Patriots, by rule, Jake would be forced to sit out the first six games of the season. But let’s not jump to those conclusions yet. I doubt Sparano, even being the devious speaker that he is, would spin things so positively if this was indeed something serious.
My money is still on Jake being in the lineup for that opener. I mean come on now, he’s a guy who didn’t miss a game after hurting his knee and dislocating his shoulder in 2010.
He’s your classic offensive lineman; one of those guys that would probably cut off a broken finger if it meant he could go back into the game.
What this move could do, though, is prevent Nate Garner from getting in on the battle for one of the starting guard spots.
We will have to wait and see how the coaching staff shuffles the lineup and for Garner to actually be permitted to practice (RFA), but I would imagine that he would be plugged in at starting left tackle in Long’s absence.
And that would likely bode well for John Jerry, who would figure to start with Richie Incognito at right and left guard respectively.