The Jacksonville Jaguars haven't had much good luck in recent years. Instead, it feels like more of a case of Murphy's Law with absolutely everything going wrong. The trend continued on Thursday when the team confirmed reports that first-round pick Jalen Ramsey suffered a slight meniscus tear in rookie minicamp. Ramsey underwent surgery on his right knee and was told by doctors that he will miss six weeks, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. He is expected back on the field for training camp.
A year ago, the Jaguars lost 2015 first-round pick Dante Fowler in his first practice in Jacksonville. The pass rusher tore his ACL and sat out his entire rookie year, while the Jaguars struggled to get to opposing quarterbacks in his absence.
Two knee injuries to two top five draft picks. Both suffered in May, about four months before any regular season action.
There was no shortage of hand-wringing following Ramsey's injury, but wait ... for a slight meniscus tear? That's far from the ACL tear that forced a redshirt season for Fowler.
Is it good news for the Jaguars? Absolutely not. The team has poured its resources into finally turning the corner in 2016, and plenty of that hope relies on success from three promising young players, Fowler, Ramsey and Myles Jack, all three of whom now carry concerns about their knees.
Ramsey is a tall and strong press cornerback who perfectly fits Jacksonville's attempt to recreate the Seattle Seahawks defense that Gus Bradley once coached. If the rookie defensive back isn't ready to start when the regular season begins, it's more than just losing a good player. Ramsey is already close to being a piece that can't quite be replaced schematically, even in his first NFL season.
But the cupboards aren't bare at cornerback either for the Jaguars. Davon House played very well in his first season with the Jaguars after a slow start, and Prince Amukamara has been added to the fold. The former New York Giants cornerback was a solid player when healthy enough to stay on the field.
Neither offer the same skill set that Ramsey does, but here's the reality of it all: The Jaguars will suffer worse injuries in 2016. Absolutely every team will. Even the luckiest NFL teams are forced to send at least a few starters to injured reserve. That's just how it works.
If a slight meniscus tear in May is even one of the top five most devastating injuries for the Jaguars by the end of the 2016 season, they had a remarkably lucky season.
Ramsey's injury is unfortunate for a team that has built plenty of momentum during the 2016 offseason, but there's no reason to suddenly curb that positivity. The Jaguars will be just fine.