JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle DaVon Hamilton is “on the road to recovery” but remains away from the team while dealing with an undisclosed back issue.
Coach Doug Pederson said Monday that Hamilton is “still being monitored by the medical professionals in town.”
“Just making sure that he’s a hundred percent,” Pederson added. “Got a text message this morning that he’s doing much better and feeling better, so he’s definitely on the road to recovery.”
The Jaguars have provided few details about Hamilton’s situation, saying only that he “is dealing with a non-football-related medical issue with his back.”
Hamilton was spotted leaving Ford Field in Detroit on crutches Saturday. He didn't play in the team’s exhibition game against the Lions, but took part in joint practices with Detroit on Wednesday and Thursday.
Calling it a “non-football-related medical issue” raises speculation that Hamilton has an illness or was injured outside the scope of a game or practice. It also means the 2020 third-round draft pick from Ohio State could land on the non-football injury list.
Pederson declined to “speculate on a timetable with him at this time.”
Hamilton had a career-high 56 tackles, including 2 1/2 sacks, last season. The Jaguars rewarded him with a three-year, $34.5 million contract extension that included $20 million fully guaranteed.
Hamilton won’t play in Jacksonville’s preseason finale against Miami on Saturday night. The Jaguars also could be without five offensive linemen against the Dolphins.
Rookie right tackle Anton Harrison, the 27th overall pick in the NFL draft, re-injured a shoulder. Veteran backup Josh Wells is out with an abductor injury. Guard/center Tyler Shatley remains sidelined while taking blood thinners to control a rapid heartbeat.
Backup guard Chandler Brewer is in the concussion protocol, and rookie Cooper Hodges injured a patella tendon and “is going to miss a little time.”
The Jaguars will get starting left guard Ben Bartch back this week. Bartch spent the first part of training camp on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from a torn knee ligament sustained last October.
“We’re going to increase his reps this week, and he’ll have a chance to play in the Miami game and give us some quality reps there,” Pederson said. “Looking at the depth, yeah, we’re a little thin at the offensive line. It’s something we’re going to monitor this week, but right now we’re comfortable where we are.”
Pederson also ruled out veteran defensive tackle Foley Fatukasi (foot) and rookie safety Antonio Johnson (hamstring) from the preseason finale.