ATLANTA, Ga. – Devin Lloyd was all smiles on Saturday evening.
And why not? The Jaguars fan did what he wanted that afternoon. Not only did he play in his first NFL game, he played well — and felt good and healthy afterward.
That made the end of the preseason a good day for Lloyd.
“I loved being on the field, being with my guys,” Lloyd said after making nearly 25 plays Saturday in the Jaguars’ 28-12 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in preseason Week 3 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Benz.
“It was definitely fun. Obviously there are things to work on, but more than anything I was just blessed to be there.”
Lloyd, the 27th overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, played most of the first half Saturday after missing the first three preseason games with a hamstring injury. He registered five hits – and perhaps most importantly, he left the game unscathed.
“He came out of the game well,” said Head Coach Doug Pederson. “He came out strong and healthy. We wanted to get him the first quarter at least. He was doing well. He looked good and played fast. It was nice to see.
“We just have to find out where he’s at when we come back. We’ll check on him this week when we get back into action.”
Says Lloyd, “It feels good. It’s going to be a little sore, but it’s really strong. It felt good out there. I have no complaints at all.”
Rookie third-round pick Chad Muma played mostly in Lloyd’s place throughout 2022 Training Camp. Lloyd and third-year quarterback Shaq Quarterman started Saturday, with Muma sitting out as the Jaguars rested. starters and forwards.
“It’s a nice situation to be in, with two guys that can rotate,” Pederson said. “You have three players to play two positions – which is good. Both of these young players have been bright spots. They are young players, players who are coming up, who will have to play games other important things for us in the regular season.”
Lloyd called the opportunity to play before the regular season “enormous.”
“Especially bringing the guys down, the contact part of it,” he said. “Just understanding and measuring where I was, the hard work and the ability … it was worth going out there and doing that.”