Jalen Ramsey waves after being selected by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the fifth overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft on April 28, 2016 in Chicago. Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey is clearly not a happy camper. The first-round draft pick (No. 5 overall) has been limited to running on a side field and doing other drills while his teammates run through plays on the main practice field during the team's mandatory mini-camp.
Ramsey sustained a minor right knee injury last month and underwent surgery on his meniscus on May 24.
Since then, the former Florida State standout has been limited in what he can do. And that's what has frustrated the prize rookie defensive back.
"It's going great and I feel great, but I'd rather be playing football," Ramsey said. "It's part of the process right now. I feel no pain. There's no swelling or anything. If you all weren't asking me questions about it, I wouldn't know I had knee surgery."
That's where the frustration sets in. Ramsey feels he should be out with his new teammates. The Jaguars feel otherwise and are being cautious with his recovery process though all indications point to his being at full strength come the start of training camp in late July.
"I'm able to do everything," Ramsey said. "I know I'll be 100 percent by that time. I feel 100 percent right now. So, by training camp I'll definitely be ready."
After last year's first-round draft pick, Dante Fowler Jr., missed the entire following ACL surgery, the Jaguars are certainly erring on the side of caution. The plans call for Ramsey to be an instant starter in the defensive backfield and the coaching staff wants to be certain that happens.
Ramsey also took issue when he was asked about his history of knee injuries, although he never missed a game at Florida State in three seasons. There are reports that Ramsey underwent microfracture surgery on the right knee in high school, a statement that the Jaguars have disputed.
"It was not (microfracture surgery)," Ramsey said. "I don't know what that has to do with this."
Defensive coordinator Todd Wash said he could notice the impatience in Ramsey wanting to get on the practice field.
"He said something at the end of unit meetings this morning," Wash said. "You can tell he's got a little burr underneath the saddle. He's ready to get going. It'll be nice to get him back.
"He's already moving around with our trainers and stuff over on the side, doing some stretching and that kind of running stuff. So he's ready to come back and start competing."
--Work has finally started on the Jaguars' new indoor practice facility, but it won't be ready for use during the 2016 season.
The indoor facility and an amphitheater are the two main components of a projected $90-million improvement to the area adjacent to EverBank Field.
"Work has commenced," Jaguars president Mark Lamping said earlier this week.
"We're just waiting for the ceremonial ground-breaking and what we're trying to do is balance some schedules between the mayor (Lenny Curry) and (Jaguars owner) Shad (Khan) and others."
The improvements include changes in the south end zone entrance to the stadium that the Jaguars will use for pre-game player introductions. A total of 2,700 club seats have been removed but the team has yet to announce what the new official capacity of the stadium will be.
The amphitheater seat up to 5,000 people and will be used for concerts on home Jaguars games as well as other times of the year.
"There were little design things we had to finalize and get the rice to where we needed it to be and we finally got there," Lamping said. "There were minor things people may not even notice. There's going to be a lot of activity during the season and into the off-season but we feel good about where the project is."
In previous seasons when the Jaguars incurred inclement weather, the team was forced to go inside to the club-seat area where tables and chairs were pushed aside so the Jaguars could "jog" through their plays.
Their other option was to use some space below the stadium, where the available room is limited.
The indoor facility should be completed by next spring allowing the Jaguars to use it during OTAs and mini-camp.