After the Jacksonville Jaguars lost defensive end Andre Branch to a knee injury in an Aug. 28 preseason game against the Detroit Lions, the team gave first-team snaps at their pass-rushing Leo position to second-year end Chris Smith with an idea towards saving veteran Chris Clemons for use on passing downs.
Heading into the season opener Sunday against the Carolina Panthers, Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said the team now plans to start Clemons at Leo and use him in a rotation with Smith and Ryan Davis.
“I think you will probably end up seeing him starting,” Bradley said, per the Florida Times-Union. “That again will be by committee a little bit. We’ll rotate guys, but you should see him (Clemons) out there with the first group.”
Clemons, who had eight sacks last season, sat all of Jacksonville's voluntary offseason work and missed the first half of training camp before returning to practice Aug. 17.
The 33-year-old Clemons indicated that Bradley and defensive line coach Todd Wash will determine how many snaps he plays Sunday against the Panthers.
(h/t Florida Times-Union)