JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Urban Meyer’s tenure in Jacksonville is nearing a new low, and no one could have thought that was possible 2 1/2 months ago.

The Jaguars (2-11) were shut out for the first time in more than a dozen years Sunday, a 20-0 drubbing at Tennessee that showed just how far the team’s offense has regressed in the past seven weeks.

Although it’s unlikely billionaire owner Shad Khan would fire Meyer after one season – Khan despises the notion of paying people to not work and has been adamant he finally “got it right” by hiring Meyer – he has to, at the very least, have growing concerns about his latest debacle in Jacksonville.

The Jaguars have failed to top 200 total yards in three games, including in back-to-back weeks, and now have two five-game skids. Neither had happened in the team’s previous 26 years.

They have the league’s longest current losing streak to go along with a 15-game road skid and eight consecutive losses in AFC South play.

The only thing that’s improved since Meyer took over in January is the team’s defense, and Meyer has mostly left that side of the ball to longtime NFL assistant and first-time coordinator Joe Cullen.


Meyer’s first year with the Jaguars will be remembered for public embarrassments and weekly confusion about what’s happening in games and seemingly inside the locker room.

Khan and Meyer had a one-on-one meeting in Nashville for roughly 15 minutes following the latest loss, the team’s 32nd in its past 37 games.

“Our focus is to finish the season strong and to make whatever adjustments we have to make to get this thing cooking,” Meyer said.

Khan and Meyer talk regularly, but this one probably had a different tone. After all, it was the first time in Khan’s decade of ownership that Jacksonville failed to score and came after a week filled with reports, all citing unnamed sources, that detailed internal strife between Meyer and his staff.

Anyone who questions the validity of those reports needs only to look at the postgame handshake between Meyer and Titans Coach Mike Vrabel. Vrabel jogged past Meyer and barely said anything as they briefly shook hands. It was a cold exchange considering they spent two years together (2012-13) at Ohio State.

“I’m not hard. I’m honest,” Meyer said. “I’ve done this a long time, and I’m very demanding and honest with coaches. If we’re struggling, let’s get this thing fixed.”


Vrabel also shut down a question about Meyer after Tennessee’s win in Jacksonville in October.

That came a week after Khan publicly admonished Meyer for viral videos that showed Meyer touching a woman’s backside at an Ohio bar. The incident happened one night after the coach chose to stay behind following a road game at Cincinnati.

Many thought Khan might fire Meyer then. Instead, the owner reprimanded the three-time national championship-winning college coach and said he “must regain our trust and respect.”

Meyer appears to be losing both by the week.

COVID-19: The NFL is requiring coaches, front-office staff and team personnel to receive a COVID-19 booster by Dec. 27.

In a memo sent to teams and obtained by The Associated Press, the league said: “Given the increased prevalence of the virus in our communities, our experts have recommended that we implement the CDC’s recommendation.”


The league’s requirement extends to all Tier 1 and Tier 2 individuals who have previously received the vaccine. Though players are in the Tier 1 designation along with coaches and trainers, the mandate doesn’t apply to players because discussions with the NFL Players Association are ongoing.

The CDC recommends an individual who received a second Pfizer or Moderna shot to complete the primary vaccine series more than six months earlier should receive a booster shot. A person who received the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot more than two months earlier should receive a booster shot.

The following do not have to meet the requirement:

• An individual who is not eligible for a booster pursuant to the CDC definition.

• An individual who is in the 90-day test holiday after a confirmed positive COVID-19 test under the league protocols.

• An individual who received monoclonal antibodies within the immediately preceding 90 days.


• An individual whose “S” antibody level on an antibody test administered via BRL (BioReference Lab) at the club facility is 2500 or greater.

The league says anyone who is not currently subject to the requirement for boosters will be required to obtain the booster within 14 days of becoming eligible.

Teams were asked to provide booster shots to all eligible tiered staff as soon as possible, and to consider making booster shots available for player and staff families and cohabitants.

A season-high 36 players were placed on the league’s COVID-19 list on Monday.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll addressed the possibility of players getting complacent about the virus.

“That’s it. That’s the whole issue worldwide,” Carroll said. “People get fatigued from it. We just can’t. We can’t let that happen. Even though everybody is human and you get worn down by the reminders. It’s stressful when you have to be continually reminded and thoughtful of something that you wouldn’t normally do. It wears on you, and we try to avoid it. We look for ways to get out of it. That’s the conversation we hear all the time, that’s the national clamor.


“It is about being diligent. Diligence comes from the constant reminders and the discipline that it takes to stick with it.”

Last month, the NFL required players and staff to wear masks inside team facilities regardless of vaccination status for a week, and ordered they be tested twice for COVID-19 after the Thanksgiving holiday. The league’s protocols then were updated as a result of increasing rates of COVID-19 across the country. At the time, nearly 95% of NFL players were vaccinated, and almost 100% of NFL personnel were vaccinated.

The league has been conducting genetic sequencing tests on positive cases to determine exact strains of the virus. NFL medical director Allen Sills said in November such testing showed that one club had eight positive cases within a two-week span but each case was unrelated, meaning the individuals were exposed to the virus from someone outside the facility.

“That shows our protocols are working and they’re doing what they’re designed to do, which is to prevent the virus from spreading in an uncontrolled manner throughout teams,” Sills said.

But the more recent numbers are alarming, particularly on Monday.

“Here we go, we’re in the last month of the season and we’ve got a shot to make it through,” Carroll said. “I don’t know after today what’s going to happen, but everybody has to continually be reminded. Stop griping about it. Stop griping about being healthy and helping other people be healthy. I don’t get that. That’s beyond me.


“It’s so far away from personal rights. I don’t get it. … It’s constant as anything we’ve ever been around. We just have to do a good job. I’ve got to do better. I have to remind guys more.”

CHARGERS: Offensive tackle Rashawn Slater tested positive for COVID-19 and entered league protocols.

Slater is the 10th Chargers player since the start of November that has been placed on the league’s reserve/COVID-19 list. Wide receiver Keenan Allen and backup center Scott Quessenberry had positive tests last week and remain on the list.

RAMS: The Los Angeles Rams won’t have defensive back Jalen Ramsey or tight end Tyler Higbee on the field for Monday night’s game against the Arizona Cardinals after both players were put on the reserve/COVID-19 list.

It’s a big blow for the Rams (8-4), who are trying to tighten the NFC West race against the division-rival Cardinals. Arizona leads the NFL with a 10-2 record.

Ramsey leads Los Angeles with three interceptions and also has 59 tackles. There’s little doubt his absence will leave a big hole in the team’s defense as they try to stop Arizona’s prolific offense, led by quarterback Kyler Murray and All-Pro receiver DeAndre Hopkins.


Higbee has 44 receptions for 395 yards and three touchdowns. Both players will be missing their first game of the season.

DOLPHINS: The Miami Dolphins now have four players on the NFL’s COVID-19 reserve list after adding safety Jevon Holland and running back Phillip Lindsay.

Those moves come after running backs Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed were put on the list last week. The addition of Lindsay meant all three running backs on the Dolphins’ 53-man roster were on the list, obviously not a great development heading into a week of practice for Sunday’s game against the New York Jets.

BILLS: The mere sight of Josh Allen limping into the postgame interview room with his left foot in a protective boot cast an ominous cloud over the Bills’ hopes of remaining in the playoff picture in the final four weeks of the season. A day later on Monday, Coach Sean McDermott was unable to shed much light on Allen’s status, announcing the quarterback has a sprained foot and leaving open he’ll have “a chance” to play Sunday, when Buffalo hosts Carolina.

“I talked to the medical team and, you know, he has a chance, we’ll just see where that goes,” McDermott said, noting Allen was still feeling sore. “We’re just going to take it one day at a time here,”

Allen shrugged off the injury sustained in a 33-27 overtime loss at Tampa Bay by saying, “I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal.”


BENGALS: Two weeks ago, the Cincinnati Bengals were coming off two blowout wins that put them right in the middle of a chaotic AFC playoff picture.

There was belief this was a team that could get to the postseason and make an impact.

Then the Bengals became the Bengals again. The inconsistent, slow-starting, mistake-prone Bengals.

Sunday’s 26-23 loss to the San Francisco 49ers included a Cincinnati returner fumbling away two punts, a taunting penalty that extended a San Francisco scoring drive and the Bengals coming back to tie the game in the fourth quarter only to let it slip away in overtime.

Rookie receiver Ja’Marr Chase dropped two passes and then made two spectacular catches for touchdowns late in the game.

The second straight home loss dropped the Bengals to 7-6 and bumped them out of the playoff picture – for now – as they try to manage more injuries to important players.


“It’s just the roller coaster of the season,” cornerback Mike Hilton said, suggesting that some players weren’t prepared for the games. “There’s going to be highs and lows. Especially this deep in the season. We’re going to continue to fight for position.”

FORMER PLAYER Josh Bellamy has been sentenced to three years and one month in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining over $1.2 million in COVID-19 relief funds.

Bellamy, 32, of St. Petersburg, Florida, was sentenced Friday in Tampa federal court, according to court records. He pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Besides serving prison time, Bellamy must also pay restitution.

Bellamy most recently played for the New York Jets, who released him from the reserve/physically unable to play list in September 2020, just days before his arrest. The wide receiver had been placed on the list in May of that year, ending his season before it began. He signed a two-year deal worth $5 million with New York in 2019 and played in seven games before injuring a shoulder and being placed on the season-ending injured reserve list.

According to court records, Bellamy obtained a Paycheck Protection Program loan of $1.2 million for his company, Drip Entertainment LLC, using falsified documents and false information. Bellamy admitted to using the loan proceeds on personal items, such as jewelry and a stay at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Bellamy also sought loans on behalf of his family members and close associates.

Bellamy also told investigators that he paid more than $311,000 to an alleged co-conspirator, James Stote, as a kickback for his assistance in preparing and submitting the fraudulent loan application, prosecutors said.


As part of the same scheme, a South Florida woman was sentenced Thursday to two years in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining a PPP loan. According to court documents, Yashica Bain, 38, of Miramar, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She obtained a PPP loan of $415,232 for her company, Microblading Brow Studio LLC, using falsified documents and false information, prosecutors said. She admitted to paying Stote more than $28,000 as a kickback for his assistance in preparing and submitting the fraudulent loan application. She was also ordered to pay restitution

Stote was charged in June 2020 with wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. His case is pending.

COWBOYS: A slumping Dak Prescott has become a danger to comfortable fourth-quarter leads for the Dallas Cowboys in the star quarterback’s first $40 million season.

A team long identified by offense can thank the defense for a three-game lead in the NFC East with four to go after a 27-20 victory at Washington. It was a second consecutive road victory that would have been easier with points instead of picks from Prescott late.

The 2016 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year has two sub-60 passer ratings in a four-game span for the first time in almost four years. His 3-3 record since returning from a calf injury probably would be worse without a defense led by this year’s emerging rookie star, linebacker Micah Parsons.

“We’ve created these high expectations and high standards and we have them for ourselves,” said Prescott, who is in the first year of a $160 million, four-year contract. “Just as much as the outside world isn’t pleased, we’re not. I guarantee we care a whole lot more than the outside world about what we’re doing.”

The Cowboys (9-4), who finish a three-game road set Sunday at the New York Giants, are headed to the playoffs barring a collapse. But the offense is going in the wrong direction.

A unit that led the NFL in points and yards per game when Prescott injured the calf in a 35-29 overtime win at New England has slumped to 11th in both categories in the six games since he returned. In his first six starts, Prescott had 16 touchdown passes, four interceptions and a 115.0 passer rating, Since then, those numbers are eight, six and 82.8.

Comments are not available on this story.