Marqise Lee looking forward to his return to the Jaguars
By David Levin
Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Marqise Lee told the media he is preparing for his return to the field after missing last season with an ACL injury.
The biggest question among the wide receivers in camp for the Jacksonville Jaguars is what will be the status of Marqise Lee once the team breaks camp and prepares for preseason. Will the six-year player be ready to snare passes from Nick Foles or will he still remain rehabbing his knee from a gruesome ACL injury he suffered last preseason?
It’s a question that more than one writer has thought about and written about. Lee is not physically able to practice yet, however, he has been seen on the side of OTAs, talking with his teammates, watching and waiting to see what new offensive coordinator John DeFilippo is installing for the passing game.
As Lee met with the media following the team’s eighth OTA session, he flashed his signature smile and said he is doing well in his progression toward getting back on the field.
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"“I’m on schedule; a little bit ahead,” Lee said. “I’m taking my time. I’ve got no worries.”"
The Jaguars could use his veteran leadership this season as the group of players on the field last year – with the exception of Dede Westbrook – were anything but dependable. A healthy Lee, along with the addition of Chris Conley, Terrelle Pryor and the return of DJ Chark and Keelan Cole could form an underrated unit. So far, the jury is still out if the wide receivers are ready to breakout or will remain one of the weakest units on the roster.
Keenan McCardell, the Jaguars receivers coach, referred to Lee as the “alpha dog” in the wide receiver room, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com. That is fitting since he has taken on the role as the leader of this pack. Now, he can lead by example on the field, not just in the study room or from the sidelines.
"“I know a lot about Marqise,” McCardell said. “In the rehab process, he has shown that he loves to play the game and he’s going to be back. He wants to be back, and he wants to lead. He’s put his mind into coming back and being better than ever. If he continues to think that way he will be back.”"
The former second-round draft pick out of USC in 2014 was brought back last season after becoming a free agent to assume the lead role left when both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns signed elsewhere in free agency. It was believed Lee would return for the Jaguars late in the preseason.
He has been seen running off to the side on the practice field without a brace on his knee. Those are good signs that point to his return. Still, it’s the team’s decision when that happens, not his.
"“I just know where I want to be at this point,” he said. “I feel like the things I’m doing right now most people didn’t think I would be able to do at this point. I’m actually doing well….“I know I’ll be back.”"