JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -The Jacksonville Jaguars have played without seven starters already this season. The eighth one might be tougher to replace than any of the others.
The Jaguars (7-3) will be without middle linebacker Mike Peterson for several games and possibly the rest of the season, leaving them with the difficult task of replacing their top tackler and defensive leader.
``It's a big blow, but at the same time, we know it's part of the game,'' defensive end Paul Spicer said. ``We know Mike Pete is devastated because he missed so much time last year and he wanted to get all out of this year that he could get.''
Peterson, who leads the team with 116 tackles, broke his right hand in the third quarter of Sunday's 24-17 victory against the San Diego Chargers. He played the rest of the game, then had X-rays that revealed several broken bones.
Peterson, who missed 11 games last season because of a torn chest muscle, sat slumped at his locker with a towel draped over his head after the game and declined interview requests.
``He's disappointed,'' coach Jack Del Rio said Monday. ``He loves competing, loves playing football and loves being there for his teammates and all those things. It's hard when you've been injured and you're not going to be able to play. He's got to deal with emotion. It's tough.''
Del Rio said he would have a more accurate timetable concerning Peterson's return after the former Florida standout has surgery.
Del Rio initially said Peterson might try to play with his right hand heavily wrapped. He backed off those statements Monday, citing what happened two years ago in the playoffs.
Peterson played at New England with a broken right wrist that was heavily taped. But Peterson missed a tackle and allowed tight end Ben Watson to run 63 yards for a key touchdown.
``We learned from our experience a couple of years ago in the playoff game,'' Del Rio said. ``He went with the club and really wasn't able to wrap up and tackle and function the way he needs to function to help us win. So we're not really looking at that as an option. How long will it be? How much disruption's in there? What kind of time frame? We're just going to have to wait and see.''
The Jaguars also might be without cornerback Rashean Mathis against Buffalo on Sunday. Mathis strained his groin in the first half against the Chargers and did not return.
Replacing starters is nothing new for the Jaguars. They have played without quarterback David Garrard, center Brad Meester, guard Chris Naeole, defensive tackle Marcus Stroud, safety Gerald Sensabaugh, cornerback Brian Williams and kicker Josh Scobee.
``It's not the first time we're going to have to replace somebody and have to keep rolling,'' Del Rio said. ``We're going to do what we always do and that's plug somebody in and expect that guy to step in, step up and play well for us and help us win.
``That's what you have to do as a football team. That's what we've been able to do thus far and it's helped us stay in contention. There's a lot of different places where we're plugging in.''
Also Monday, the Jaguars released kicker John Carney and re-signed linebacker Jorge Cordova, needing extra depth with Peterson's injury.

Recent NFL Discussions

Top NFL Public Bets

NFL Top Stories

Thumbnail Don't Pass on these NFL Betting Picks It may be of small comfort that that the regular season is still one and a half months away from starting, but compared to the long wait we’ve had since the...
Thumbnail Betting Against Terrible NFL Teams When you have a great handle on just how an NFL franchise is going to perform heading into a brand new season, well, clearly, that’s a good thing that will allow...
Thumbnail Broncos Win-Total Pick Are the Denver Broncos going to once again be a force in the AFC...
Thumbnail Packers Win-Total Prediction Can the Green Bay Packers remain the best team in the NFC North and make a run to double-digit wins this...
Thumbnail NFL Regular Season Win Totals How many wins will each of the 32 teams have in the NFL regular season? Here's a look at the odds.

NFL Team Pages