JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Mike Brewster could go from being the starter to being on the street.
Benched after two preseason games, the Jacksonville Jaguars center had another poor outing in the exhibition finale against Atlanta on Thursday night and could soon be looking for a job.
Brewster grounded a ball past quarterback Ricky Stanzi in the third quarter for a 14-yard loss. It was Brewster’s third bad shotgun snap in the preseason and surely hurt his chances of making the 53-man roster.
“It didn’t help,” coach Gus Bradley said after the 24-14 loss.
Rookie center Luke Bowanko, a sixth-round pick from Virginia, got the start against the Falcons and played well at times. Brewster, meanwhile, spent the first half on the bench. He got in with backups in the second half and looked nothing like a guy trying to make it difficult for Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell.
“When you have a couple bad snaps in the first game and then you throw a low one back there in the last game, I mean, yeah, it’s not a comforting feeling,” Brewster said. “But I know I can play in this league. I have played in this league.
“It’s tough, so we’ll see. Whatever happens, happens. I can’t blame anybody but myself, and whatever the problem is, I’ve got to move beyond that and not let it keep on.”
The Jaguars have several other decisions to make the next two days, including at receiver and in the secondary. But some of those positions may have worked themselves out with injuries.
Receiver Tandon Doss, who was making his preseason debut, sustained another ankle injury and will miss time. He could land on injured reserve, clearing the way for Mike Brown to make the team.
And rookie cornerback Rashaad Reynolds suffered a broken hand and likely will need surgery. He also could land on IR, helping Jeremy Harris’ chances of making the final roster.
Brewster’s fate might be sealed.
The Jaguars never really showed a lot of faith in Brewster, even after 14-year veteran Brad Meester retired in January.
They passed on the former Ohio State standout numerous times in the 2012 NFL draft before signing him as an undrafted free agent. They talked Meester into sticking around for a 14th season in 2013. They signed Pro Bowler Alex Mack to a five-year, $42 million offer sheet in April that Cleveland quickly matched.
They even gave journeyman Jacques McClendon, who has been waived seven times the last three years, repetitions with the first-team offense in training camp.
Brewster was initially unfazed by it all.
But he acknowledged Thursday that things have gotten in his head, especially when it comes to the bad snaps.
“Obviously it’s something I’ve got to get my mind off instead of thinking about it at the line,” Brewster said. “Sometimes it’s tough when you’re standing around for a half, but after the first series, I felt like I got warm and got moving better. I thought other than that it was all right.”
But it might not have been enough.
It does help, though, that Brewster has the ability to play center and guard.
“I know I can do either,” he said. “Obviously they’ve got to be able to trust you and obviously they probably don’t at this point. Like I said, whatever happens is going to happen. I have to deal with it and I know I’ll be all right.”
Brewster was a four-year starter for the Buckeyes, a team captain, a first-team All-American as a junior and a finalist for the prestigious Remington Award, which is given annually to the nation’s best center. Despite the accolades and some projections that he would be an early round pick, Brewster ended up going undrafted in 2012.
He signed with Jacksonville because of Meester’s uncertain future, made the team as an undrafted rookie and even started seven games at guard. When Meester decided to play another season in 2013, Brewster was stuck in a backup role again.
He ended up starting three games at guard before breaking his left ankle and finishing the year on injured reserve.
Now, he might not even make the team.