Jaguars’ defensive stars Jalen Ramsey and Dante Fowler returned to practice after serving one-week suspensions.
Fowler’s suspension came after a pair of tussles in the same training camp practice. Ramsey’s came following his verbal berating of reporters who were recording a post-practice shoving match between Fowler and Yannick Ngakoue.
Their defensive teammates said Monday that they would welcome the pair back with open arms.
“Obviously, it’s always good to have those guys back and have your huddle the way it is,” said linebacker Myles Jack. “Guys stepped up.”
During Ramsey’s suspension, GQ published an interview with the outspoken cornerback wherein Ramsey shared his unvarnished opinions on several quarterbacks, including calling Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan “overrated.” The Jaguars face the Falcons Saturday in the third preseason game of the year.
Does that make Ramsey a villain?
“Why not? There are a lot of nice guys in the league,” said Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson. “He does the right thing, but he pushes people’s buttons and gets in their heads and be outspoken about it. A lot of guys don’t want to be outspoken about it because they don’t know if they can back it up. He knows he can back it up, so let him do it.”
Ultimately, all will be forgiven, if not forgotten, if Ramsey plays the way he did last year, when he established himself as the best cornerback in the league.
“At the end of the day, if he’s back there locking that receiver down, it’s going to make everybody better,” Jackson said. “Not just me, but everybody around me knows how to pass rush and get to the quarterback. As long as he’s doing his job, we’re all be doing our job and we’re going to be good.”
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone did not reveal the content of any conversations he had with the two returning players, only saying the team is preparing for the next test in the preseason.
“They’re back and we’re ready to go. We have to focus on getting ourselves ready for Atlanta,” Marrone said. “I know I have a lot going on. I’m trying to get ready for Atlanta, trying to make decisions and be able to write guys up and be able to get this team ready for this week and plans for next week. A lot of that stuff is going on for me personally right now.”