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Jaguars rookie LB Williams out 4-6 weeks

Jacksonville Jaguars rookie linebacker Quincy Williams, a third-round draft pick who showed enough over the last three months to lock down a starting spot, will miss 4-to-6 weeks because of a torn meniscus in his right knee.

The older brother of New York Jets rookie Quinnen Williams tweaked his knee during drills Thursday and left practice early. The team says he will have arthroscopic surgery in the coming days. He still has an outside shot at returning in time for the Sept. 8 season opener against Kansas City.

“Our expectation is that he’ll be ready for the first game,” coach Doug Marrone said during his weekly radio show Thursday.

The Jags selected the 5-foot-10 linebacker from Murray State with the 98th overall selection, a pick that was widely questioned. But Williams has been the team’s best rookie by far. Marrone raised eyebrows — even in the locker room — earlier this week by calling him the fastest player on the field.

Now Jacksonville will hope for a speedy return.

In the meantime, veteran Ramik Wilson likely will replace Williams at weak-side linebacker — the position filled by Telvin Smith the last five seasons. Smith stepped away from football in May to “get my world in order.”

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Rookie tight end Josh Oliver also got hurt Thursday, injuring his right hamstring during practice. Marrone said Oliver, a third-round pick from San Jose State, will have in-depth tests Friday to determine the extent of the damage.

The Jaguars claimed tight end Donnie Ernsberger off waivers from Tampa Bay and waived/injured rookie tight end Michael Colubiale (concussion protocol). Colubiale will revert to Jacksonville’s injured reserve if he clears waivers.

The Murray State product was reportedly off to a strong start at Jaguars’ training camp. On Wednesday, Jacksonville head coach Doug Marrone told reporters that Williams may be the Jaguars’ fastest player heading into the 2019 season.

“Really, when the ball’s snapped, I think he might be the fastest player on our football field right now,” Marrone said of his rookie linebacker. “When you watch him, he is fast.” 

The Jaguars are surely counting on Williams to help get them back on track in 2019. After making it all the way to the AFC title game in 2017, Jacksonville crashed and burned in 2018, winning just five games despite finishing fifth in the league in total defense and second in the league in pass defense. 

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