Jaguars CB Mathis tore knee ligament on non-contact play

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars were one of the healthiest teams in the NFL over the first 10 weeks of the season.

But that all changed Monday, when they placed longtime cornerback Rashean Mathis, guard Eben Britton and backup linebacker/special teams standout Kyle Bosworth on season-ending injured reserve.

Mathis tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during Sunday's 17-3 win at Indianapolis and will have season-ending surgery. Britton, who missed the last four games, developed an infection after back surgery in training camp. Bosworth broke his left hand against the Colts.

"It's life in the NFL," Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said. "It's a tough business. It was nice to get a win. Tough for a couple guys to get news that they're going to go on IR, but as a football team, we're going forward doing the best we can."

Losing Mathis is the biggest setback for the Jaguars (3-6), and it could mean he has played his last game in Jacksonville. Born and raised in the city, Mathis is in the final year of his contract. It's unclear if the team will give a 31-year-old defender who has missed games in four of the last five seasons a new deal.

Mathis was playing arguably his best football, with 12 passes defended and one interception this season. He injured his knee while planting to cover Colts wide receiver Pierre Garcon.

"It's unfortunate," Del Rio said. "He's a good football player. He's having a good year for us, and so obviously, as we do, we move on as a team."

Mathis has started 125 games -- every one he has played since being drafted by the Jaguars in the second round in 2003. He made the Pro Bowl in 2006 and was the leader of the team's revamped secondary. Will Middleton will move into a starting role to replace Mathis, and the Jaguars expect to work out several cornerbacks Tuesday.

The Jaguars also signed tight end Fendi Onobun off the Washington Redskins' practice squad and added tight end Colin Cloherty to the practice squad. The team also waived rookie tight end Schuylar Oordt from the practice squad.

The moves left Jacksonville with two open roster spots, which could be used to replace Britton and Bosworth.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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