The Jaguars are on the verge of seeing a season many thought would at least be intriguing careen back into the rebuilding category, having endured another embarrassing defeat — this one on their annual Thursday-night game. But the team will bring in a reinforcement thanks to the NFL’s updated injured reserve-boomerang policy.
However, the return of reserve offensive lineman Josh Wells can’t exactly be considered much of a tonic. The team announced the blocker will return from IR, and Wells came back to practice on Monday. He has not played this season and hasn’t seen game action since playing in 12 for Jacksonville in 2014.
The Jags have three weeks before they decide if they want to activate Wells or not. Teams can only bring one player off IR in a season.
Wells is a 25-year-old former undrafted free agent out of James Madison, so he’s one of the lower-profile players who will be recalled from IR. The Jags also have offensive linemen Luke Joeckel, Luke Bowanko on IR, with defensive tackle Roy Miller also being placed on the IR list recently. Those three, though, have injuries too severe to return this season, leaving Wells as a candidate. He’s been out all season due to a thumb injury. That particular type of ailment has plagued him in his short career, with a thumb malady shelving Wells for all of 2015.
The former Division I-FCS player likely will be a swing tackle behind Kelvin Beachum and Jermey Parnell. A 6-foot-6, 310-pound presence, Wells has never started a game and likely won’t unless Beachum and Parnell — two cogs the Jags have invested in heavily — go down. Parnell’s in Year 2 of a high-end right tackle contract, and Beachum in the first of a two-part deal. However, considering Joeckel’s injury and impending free agency status, the Jags could well trigger the second part of the left tackle’s contract after this season.
Jacksonville is 2-5 and in last in the AFC South. The team fired offensive coordinator Greg Olson earlier today.