Jacksonville Jaguars guard Will Rackley feared the worst when he went down in Saturday's preseason game against the Philadelphia Eagles with an ankle injury, but now just a few days later he's hopeful that he'll be able to join the team for the season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs in less than two weeks.
On Monday, Rackley spoke to the Florida Times-Union about his quick recovery from what looked to be a serious injury:
"We're taking it week by week, but I'm feeling good compared to when it first happened," he said. "I'm personally pretty confident [I can play against Kansas City], but I don't want to do anything stupid and miss more time than I need to."
Rackley, 23, was a third-round selection in the 2011 NFL Draft and made 14 starts for the Jaguars as a rookie, but missed the entire 2012 season with a broken foot. Now entering his third season in the NFL, many expect him to make a significant jump forwards.
Among those believers is Big Cat Country's Alfie Crow, who said in July that Rackley could be one of the key players on the Jaguars offensive line in 2013:
With two years in an NFL strength program, which was Rackley's biggest issue as a rookie, he could be just as much an upgrade on the line as Joeckel is. As big a problem as right tackle was for the Jaguars in 2012, the interior offensive line was just as much an issue. With a stronger, healthy Rackley and a healthy Uche Nwaneri on the interior plus the addition of Joeckel, the line could swiftly go from a liability to a strength.
The Jaguars will kickoff the regular season on Sunday, Sept. 8 with a home game against the Chiefs.