JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey plans to play in the Pro Bowl despite a lingering knee issue.
Ramsey said Wednesday he has a bone bruise in his right knee, an injury that first became public when the third-year pro was limited in practice on Oct. 11.
“With a bruise, you just have to rest and not do anything for it to get better,” Ramsey said. “It is a bone bruise. It still hurts now, but the trainers have told me after the season to rest for like a week and a half or two weeks and it will be good.”
Since the Jaguars (4-10) won’t be in the playoffs, Ramsey expects to have time to heal before the Pro Bowl on Jan. 27 in nearby Orlando.
Ramsey has started 46 consecutive games since being drafted fifth overall in the 2016 NFL draft and hasn’t missed a game because of injury since his sophomore year in high school. He was suspended for a preseason game in August.
“I love the game of football, so any opportunity I get to play I want to play with a lot of heart and a lot of passion,” Ramsey said. “I think a lot of guys in this locker room are the exact same. Being able to play football is truly a privilege we have been blessed with by God with all our talents and our skills.
“If you have an opportunity, you don’t want to go out there and waste it.”
Ramsey was the only Jacksonville player voted to the Pro Bowl, a significant drop from having six defenders make the team last year. The Jags still could have a few more added as alternates, including linebacker Myles Jack and defensive ends Calais Campbell and Yannick Ngakoue.
Ramsey became the third defender in franchise history to make multiple Pro Bowls, joining John Henderson and Marcus Stroud, and the first Jacksonville player since running back Maurice Jones-Drew (2009-11) to make consecutive Pro Bowls.
“It is super special, back to back,” Ramsey said. “It was a goal coming into the year to be the best I can. This is a step in that direction. This season has not gone how I would have liked it to go. This is a positive end to the end of the season.”
Ramsey has 57 tackles, 11 pass breakups and three interceptions this season while shadowing some of the toughest receivers in the league — Odell Beckham, Tyreek Hill, Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins and T.Y. Hilton. Ramsey noted that his stats picked up at the end of his first two seasons, pointing out that four of his nine career interceptions have come in December, which makes him eager for the final two games against Miami (7-7) and Houston (10-4).
Coach Doug Marrone praised Ramsey for playing through pain.
“It’s a credit to him that people felt like he was earning of it, and I believe so,” Marrone said. “He is a guy that’s been out there every Sunday, plays through injury and we match him up on the top guys.”