Jaguars: Shorts III to make timely return
Aside from the first half in Philadelphia, very little has gone right for the Jacksonville Jaguars so far this season. Amongst the problems has been a lack of experience at the wide receiver position, where the three leading players through the first two weeks have been Allen Hurns (+0.4), Marquis Lee (-1.7) and Allen Robinson (-0.6); all of whom are rookies. Between them they account for 275 of the Jaguars’ 323 wide receiver snaps in the opening two matches.
Hurns, an undrafted rookie out of Miami, exploded onto the scene by taking his first two NFL receptions to the house. However his inexperience showed when he was held to just 2 catches for 13 yards and a dropped pass against the Washington Redskins. Neither Lee nor Robinson, both of whom are second round selections, have made a huge impact to date. Lining up in the slot on 77.1% of his snaps, Lee has forced three missed tackles, joint-fourth amongst wide receivers and a strength of his game at USC; However he is out of this week’s match against the Colts. Robinson is just feeling his way into the season after sitting out the entire of preseason, but four catches for 75 yards (at a useful 18.8 yards per reception) against the Washington Redskins, suggests there is more to come from the Penn State product.
So it is with great relief that the Jaguars welcome back Cecil Shorts III, the team’s leading receiver in both 2012 and 2013 with a combined 121 receptions for 1756 yards and 10 touchdowns. In 2012 Shorts recorded a 94.5 WR Rating and 2.31 Yards per Route Run, grades that were good for 15th and 8th amongst receivers with at least 100 targets. The numbers were less impressive in 2013 but the offense as a whole regressed, making it difficult for any offensive player to really standout. Shorts is officially listed as probable for the match against the Colts, but he was a full participant in practice on Friday and is expected to play, providing a much needed boost for the Jaguars offense.