Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey will travel with Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill in the Sept. 8 season opener in Jacksonville, according to defensive coordinator Todd Wash.
“He’s going to draw Tyreek, and he’s got to cover him,” Wash told reporters. “We’re very blessed. Our linebackers can run. All of our guys can run. We can just say, ‘Hey, Jalen, you go take care of him.”’
That would be a different approach than Wash took when the teams met in Week 5 last season in Kansas City.
In that game, Ramsey played predominantly in his typical left cornerback position, though he occasionally crossed to the right side. Hill managed two catches in direct coverage against Ramsey, a 10-yarder on a short curl and a 36-yarder on a fade down the sideline, with Ramsey opposite his normal spot. The Chiefs won 30-14.
The two players sparred verbally during the week leading up to that meeting. Hill told reporters he looked forward to facing Ramsey, saying the cornerback was “alright, I guess” and adding, “I hope he presses me.”
Ramsey responded by downplaying it as a one-on-one matchup, emphasizing Hill’s role as a returner more than as a receiver.
“He made All-Pro as a return specialist — let’s get that right, as a return specialist — his rookie year,” Ramsey said at the time. “He went to two Pro Bowls as a return specialist — return specialist — two years. I made All-Pro in my position as a corner. Went to the Pro Bowl as a corner. So it’s not a wide-receiver-versus-corner matchup, so we can get that out of the way off the bat.”
Hill went on to garner Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors as a receiver in 2018, finishing with 87 catches for 1,479 yards and 12 touchdowns, while Ramsey went to his second straight Pro Bowl.
Entering his fourth season as defensive coordinator, Wash hasn’t typically had his cornerbacks shadow specific receivers for an entire game, but Ramsey and fellow Pro Bowler A.J. Bouye occasionally move around or swap sides situationally. D.J. Hayden typically mans the slot in the Jaguars’ nickel packages.