Jaguars considering rookie trade in linebacker vs. Ravens – Jacksonville Jaguars Blog

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Rookie linebacker Chad Muma could make his first start for the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday against the Baltimore Ravens (1 p.m. ET, CBS)

Muma is one of the few active NFL players known to play with type 1 diabetes. Another? Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, who Muma will have a chance to face when the Ravens travel to Jacksonville. November, by the way, is Diabetes Awareness Month.

“It’s like everything comes together this week,” Muma said.

Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson and defensive coordinator Mike Caldwell aren’t saying whether Muma will actually replace rookie Devin Lloyd in the starting lineup, so it may not be revealed until Sunday. But Wyoming’s third-round pick will definitely get a lot more playing time in the last seven games.

It’s partly due to Muma’s improvement as the season progresses, but also due to Lloyd, who the Jaguars drafted 27the overall, it has struggled since its good start.

“Consistency [in Muma’s play], but I think it also helps sometimes, in Devin’s case, to just step out of the game and look at it from the side, see a little bit of a different perspective,” Pederson said. “Allowing Chad to get valuable reps is a lot like Buster [CB Montaric Brown] playing and getting valuable reps in the corner and seeing where Chad is with everything.

“Right now, it’s been limited to special teams. He is a good linebacker and we want to have him on the field.”

Muma earned the longest playing time of his career in the Jaguars’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on November 13, playing a season-high 25 defensive snaps. He was on the field late in the first half and played more in the second and finished with six tackles, including four solo tackles.

Muma had played double-digit defensive plays in only one other game (11 against the Houston Texans on Oct. 9) this season. Most of his playing time has been on special teams: He’s fourth on the team with seven special teams tackles.

“Reflecting on that first preseason game, the Hall of Fame game, it felt really fast compared to the last game against Kansas City,” Muma said. “It really slowed down for me. I was able to see plays faster, react faster and now I feel more confident.

“…I feel much more confident in my coverage skills, both in the last game, and also using my hands. When an offensive lineman comes up to me, I can take him on better and go out there and make a play.”

Lloyd was the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month for September after compiling 24 tackles and intercepting two passes and breaking up four others, but he hasn’t built on that. He has missed assignments and gotten out of position at times and Pederson admitted he was benched late in the first half of the Chiefs’ game.

Lloyd played in the second half, but finished with a season-low 38 defensive snaps (60%) in that game. He had played every defensive snap in six of the Jaguars’ nine previous games.

“I started hot and then the last couple of weeks it wasn’t as good as it was at the beginning,” Lloyd said. “For me, it’s just going out there and running, making plays that I know I can make and really trusting my ability.”

Lloyd said he will try to make the most of his reduced playing time and focus on continuing to develop in the last seven games.

“I know what Doug had mentioned, [that] sometimes from the touchline you get a little bit of a different perspective,” he said. “Personally, I love to play. I love playing the game. Obviously I don’t want to go out, but for me, it’s just about growth. No matter how perfect we want it to be, it will never be perfect. So for me, it’s just about learning from my mistakes and making sure they don’t happen again. [and] continuing to progress each day.”

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