After what should be considered a successful rookie campaign, Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Ace Sander set himself back considerably in his second season by violating the league’s substance abuse policy and incurring a 4-game suspension. Sanders’ suspension could not have come at a more inopportune time, as the Jaguars drafted two receivers in the 2nd round of the 2014 NFL Draft and also brought in a talented undrafted free agent in Allen Hurns.
Still, the team seemed to be supportive of Sanders and indicated he would be with the club come week 1. Sanders reported to camp on Sunday after taking some time off for personal reasons.
Ace Sanders won’t count against the 53-man roster going into week 1, so the Jaguars shouldn’t really have too many hard decisions to make at receiver until he returns. For now, it looks like the Jaguars will take 5 receivers into week 1 – Cecil Shorts III, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, Mike Brown, and Allen Hurns. When Sanders does return, the team is going to have to decide if they want to carry 6 receivers or let one of the incumbents go to make room for Ace. I think Sanders’ utility as a punt returner makes him a necessary addition, especially if the team moves on from Tandon Doss, and I think Mike Brown and Allen Hurns have value.
So where should the Jaguars make a cut? My vote goes to the running back group and veteran Jordan Todman. In 3 preseason games, Todman is averaging 1.4 yards per carry on 18 attempts, and his lone highlight was on an outstanding throw by Blake Bortles. With Toby Gerhart starting and Denard Robinson expected to play a big role, I don’t really see a reason to keep Todman. He was OK last year when he was forced into action, but he’s keeping the Jaguars from seeing what they have in Denard and rookie Storm Johnson. Deciding between one of the last receivers and Todman, it’s not too difficult a choice.
- Daniel Lago