Urban Meyer confident Jaguars kicker Josh Lambo will work through issues

Lambo misses first three attempts of the season after a four-year accuracy record of .950

Garry Smits
Florida Times-Union
  • The most severe injury from Broncos game is to tight end James O'Shaughnessy (ankle)
  • Meyer said Jaguars coaches will work on Trevor Lawrence sailing high passes
  • Jaguars rookie offensive tackle Walker Little is placed on the NFL's reserve/COVID-19 list

Jaguars coach Urban Meyer said on Monday that he's standing pat with kicker Josh Lambo -- unless the front office overrules him. 

Lambo, who had been the most accurate kicker in the NFL over a period of nearly four years, missed field-goal attempts of 48 and 52 yards in Sunday's 23-13 loss to Denver -- the first time he had ever missed at home in 41 attempts at TIAA Bank Field and five attempts in London games. 

Prior to missing a 55-yard attempt in the opening game at Houston, Lambo had made 76 of 80 (.950) since being signed by the Jags in the middle of the 2017 season. In the first two games of the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons, Lambo was 9 of 9. 

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Josh Lambo, celebrating a field goal in 2020 against the Indianapolis Colts, is still the Jaguars kicker after going 0 for 3 in his first two games.

Meyer said he had a conversation with Lambo on Monday morning and seemed willing to let Lambo's track record give him some latitude to work his way out his slump. 

"We looked at it ... [2017, 2018, 2019], you go back and I know that was recent history, he was one of the best in the NFL," Meyer said. "The thing I told him is that since I got here in February since our staff got here, he’s as hard-working [a] guy as any on the team. So, I have confidence he’s going to work through this." 

But it might not be Meyer's call. 

"I know the GM [general manager Trent Baalke] and personnel department’s job is to see what’s out there and all that," Meyer said about bringing in other kickers for tryouts. "I’m convinced this guy [Lambo] can come through it. I see the way he works. I see the way he hits it. I’ve stuck with kickers before and it’s been great dividends so as of now we’re going to stick with him.” 

Meyer said Lambo's fortunes might change if he just sees one go through the uprights and said no one is taking the situation more serious than Lambo. 

"He's as serious a kicker as any I've been around," Meyer said. "Working takes care of his body. I know he had an injury last year but you look at [the previous four seasons] the guy was phenomenal and I still believe he will be."  

O'Shaughnessy likely out  

The Jaguars came through the second game relatively healthy with only one player likely not to be ready for Sunday's home game against Arizona (CBS, 1 p.m.), tight end James O'Shaughnessy. 

O'Shaughnessy suffered a high-ankle sprain while being tackle following a 24-yard pass reception from Trevor Lawrence on the Jags touchdown drive to open the game, and Meyer said he would be out "a few weeks." 

Jaguars tight end James O'Shaughnessy is tackled by Denver safety Kareem Jackson during Sunday's game. O'Shaughnessy suffered a high-ankle sprain and may be out for several weeks.

He was optimistic that two other injured players could go against the Cardinals: wide receiver Laviska Shenault (shoulder) and offensive guard A.J. Cann ("a real minor hamstring," Meyer said). 

Cornerback C.J. Henderson has what Meyer described as "mild groin issues." 

"We're not sure yet on that one," he said. 

But veteran cornerback Tre Herndon (knee), who was injured in the preseason opener against Cleveland, is on track to return to practice on Wednesday.  

Little placed on COVID-19 list

Jaguars rookie offensive tackle Walker Little has been inactive for the first two games of the season.

Now, his development has received more of a setback with the news Monday afternoon that the team had place Little on the NFL's Reserve/COVID-19 list, the club announced today.

The Reserve/COVID-19 list is a reserve category created by the NFL for a player who either tests positive for COVID-19 or who has been quarantined after having been in close contact with an infected person or persons.

Little was the team's second second-round draft pick, taken No. 45 overall, after cornerback Tyson Campbell. Little showed promise early in the training but struggled in the preseason games.

Little and fourth-round picks, defensive tackle Jay Tufele and defensive end Jordan Smith, were healthy scratches in the first two games.

When asked when they would be ready, Meyer replied, "they're close."

Working on high passes  

Lawrence sailed many of his incomplete passes on Sunday high and over the reach of his receivers but Meyer said it's one more thing on the to-do list for any rookie quarterback. 

When he talked to the media, Meyer said he had just come out of a film session and the discussion had centered on Lawrence's high throws. 

"One ball came out of his hand during the rain," Meyer said. "Over-striding, a bit anxious when some guy pops open and you throw it high. There's not one reason. That's something we're addressing. We saw the same thing. It's all fixable." 

Lawrence completed 14 of 33 passes for 118 yards and had two interceptions. After the first drive that ended in a 25-yard TD pass to Marvin Jones II, Lawrence was nine of 26 for 45 yards.  

Chark gets few targets 

Wide receiver D.J Chark was targeted only four times against the Broncos and had one reception for 19 yards. Against Houston, he was targeted 12 times and caught three passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. 

Jaguars wide receiver DJ Chark (17) is interfered with by Denver cornerback Patrick Surtain during the second quarter of Sunday's game at TIAA Bank Field.

Meyer said "there's no issue there," but did say Chark would have to be a focal point of the passing game for the Jaguars to have success. 

"Not enough," Meyer said of the number of targets Chark had against Denver. "He's working his tail off. We still need to get him more involved."  

Jags bring back Cottrell  

The Jaguars filled the practice-squad spot left open when Duke Johnson was cut last week by re-signing Nathan Cottrell. 

Cottrell, an undrafted free agent from Georgia Tech who played in eight games as a rookie last season, returning seven kickoffs for an average of 17.6 yards, and making five special-teams tackles. 

During the preseason, he caught seven passes for 63 yards, including three for 36 yards against New Orleans. He had seven rushing attempts for a net of 2 yards. 

A native of Knoxville, Tenn., Cottrell had 654 yards and four TDs for the Yellow Jackets.