In a surprising post on his Instagram account, Jacksonville Jaguars pro bowl linebacker Telvin Smith announced that he plans on taking a break from football this upcoming season. In his statement, Smith cited his family and health as well as his own well being as the reasons behind his decision to take this time off. He did not give a timeline for his return to the Jaguars.
Telvin Smith posted the statement on his Instagram account Thursday afternoon.
In a statement soon after Smith’s post, the Jacksonville Jaguars said they have no comment on the situation and stated that they have yet to speak to Smith about his decision.
Statement regarding LB Telvin Smith. pic.twitter.com/0LzdM4K9NC
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) May 9, 2019
In a Friday press conference at rookie minicamp, head coach Doug Marrone stated that he has yet to speak to Telvin Smith and wasn’t aware of his plans to sit out until Smith posted his announcement on social media. Marrone did make it clear, however, that the organization, as well as himself, would be available and willing to support Smith in any way they could.
The Jacksonville Jaguars posted a video of the press conference on their Twitter account.
Doug Marrone, Josh Allen and Jawaan Taylor meet the media following the opening of rookie minicamp. https://t.co/BdS87oy7Gp
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) May 10, 2019
The loss of Smith will be widely felt by a Jaguars team that is looking to get back to its winning ways of two years ago. Smith, a captain of the defense, has been an anchor of the highly regarded Jags defense missing only four games since getting drafted in the fifth round of the 2014 NFL draft. Smith has recorded 100 or more tackles in every year he has played as well as racking up nine interceptions, seven and a half sacks and 52 tackles for a loss of yards.
One of only 13 players in NFL history to record 100+ tackles in each of their first 5 seasons.
Also the only player with at least:
-1 fumble recovery
in EACH of the last 3 seasons.
Only 15 other players have done that in even ONE of the last three seasons https://t.co/JCVu4dXbAS
— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) May 9, 2019
The Jaguars are coming off a disappointing 5-11 season and have made the change at quarterback that they hope will help the offense match the defensive efforts of the team. They moved on from quarterback Blake Bortles, releasing him and signing Nick Foles to a 4-year, $88 million deal. While the loss of Smith will hurt the Jaguars, defensive end Josh Allen, who was drafted out of Kentucky in the first round after Allen slipped to them at the seventh pick, should help mitigate the loss of production that Smith’s absence would have caused otherwise.