Laurent Robinson, the Jaguars’ expensive #1 wide receiver free agent acquisition, suffered another concussion agains the Bengals on Sunday. After a nice grab that resulted in a first down, Robinson was out for the rest of the game and is “questionable” but probably out against Chicago next week. For a team struggling to move the ball this is a big blow.
Robinson is the team’s fourth most productive “receiver” through four games. He has nine catches on season for 134 yards (second on the team) with a healthy 13.4 yard average per catch. There have been some drops for Robinson and he did not come out as hot as the team had anticipated after signing him away from the Cowboys this offseason. The good news for the Jaguars is that #2 receiver Justin Blackmon and #3 receiver Cecil Shorts III have seemingly decided that now is as good a time as any to start catching passes.
While the Jaguars’ overall receiving numbers make other teams look like they are fielding hall of fame candidates, Shorts and Blackmon may finally get a shot to show that they could be a good tandem for QB Blaine Gabbert. Blackmon has 10 catches (6 against the Bengals) for 79 yards this season. He has faded from some games and was completely shut out in week two against the Texans. Shorts has proven that he can be a clutch receiver in big moments – he has two touchdowns in the final minute of week one and week three. On the season he has six receptions for 162 yards (27 yards per reception average).
While losing Robinson can have a huge ripple effect across the board for the Jaguars receiving corps, it could also be a call for Blackmon and Shorts to step up. Shorts has demonstrated that he can be effective when called upon in big moments. Blackmon has shown that he can be a top target when Robinson is being ineffective. The question now becomes: can the Jaguars feed these two receivers? Like the rest of you, I am tired of seeing Gabbert dump the ball off to Maurice Jones-Drew (leading in receptions with 13) and Greg Jones, can he get the time to see the receivers get open? I don’t know. But with Robinson out against the Bears, we’ll finally get to see.
Feed ‘em Blaine, feed those receivers.
- Luke N. Sims
You can also find me on Twitter @LukeNSims