Rookie Josh Oliver figures to become a bigger part of the Jacksonville Jaguars passing game this week when the team hosts the New York Jets on Sunday.
One thing Jaguars fans may see this week is a bigger role for tight end Josh Oliver in the offense on Sunday against the New York Jets. The rookie played in his first career game last Sunday at Cincinnati. While he saw time on the field, he was virtually absent in the team’s offensive game plan.
According to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo, the plan is to bring Oliver along and get him more snaps as the season progresses.
"“I think you’ll see more of Josh this week,” DeFilippo said when he met with the media on Thursday afternoon."
His presence is now vital as the team is struggling with injuries at the position. Both James O’Shaughnessy and Geoff Swaim have been placed on the I.R. Oliver, who was drafted out of San Jose State as a pass-catching threat, missed all of the preseason and the first six weeks of the regular season with a hamstring injury.
Now, there is a chance he could have an impact on the Jaguars passing game.
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DeFilippo is a big proponent of getting the tight end involved in the offense early and using the position in many roles during the game. Ben Koyack and Seth DeValve are also on the active roster. Oliver was in on 25 snaps last Sunday but did not catch a pass. No tight end on the roster had a reception on the day.
"“I talked about the unknown [involving Oliver] last week, and I think some of the unknown was clarified for us,” DeFilippo said. “He held his own and did well. He got knocked in the face a few times and knocked some people in the face a few times – and came back.“It wasn’t perfect. It’s never going to be perfect. But I think he’s the type of athlete that has the skillset to where the more playing time he gets, I think the better he’s going to get.”"
The Jaguars passing game is ranked 14th overall in the NFL at 238.3 yards a game.
In other news: Dede Westbrook is listed a questionable for the game on Sunday, but head coach Doug Marrone told the media on Friday he expects the veteran wide receiver to play at home. Westbrook had his best game of the season last week with six catches (on nine targets) for 103 yards.
“I just think that if you don’t practice all week it’s better to put him as questionable. But I think he’ll play,” Marrone said.
For the season, he has 32 catches for 383 yards. He had 66 catches last season to lead the team. Also, if Westbrook catches a pass for the Jaguars on Sunday, he will have caught a pass in all 31 career games in which he’s played.