The Jacksonville Jaguars wide receivers have played better than many gave them credit for prior to the start of the 2019 season.
The Jacksonville Jaguars continue to show they have a potent passing game despite injuries that affected the team the past few weeks.
During the team’s 29-15 win over the New York Jets on Sunday, Dede Westbrook and Marqise Lee both suffered injuries that forced them to the sidelines. As head coach Doug Marrone explained on Monday in his conference call with the local media, it the hope of the coaching staff they will be ready to go when the Jaguars face the Houston Texans in London on Sunday morning.
Then it was announced that Marqise Lee was placed on season-ending I.R. because of his shoulder injury.
"“He’s such a good football player, and he’s tough and he brings an element to that room with toughness. He’s one of those guys that always has a smile on his face, nothing’s ever bad. So, he brings a ton of energy, and it’s just hard,” Marrone told the media when he talked to them on Wednesday.More from Jacksonville Jaguars NewsJacksonville Jaguars should welcome Derrick Henry into the kingdomJaguars Rumors: Trent Baalke seems to be getting respect nowJaguars News: This division rival might be making a big moveFormer Jacksonville Jaguars S Johnathan Cyprien: “New Profession, Same Standards”Jacksonville Jaguars TE Evan Engram officially gets the franchise tag: 3 takeaways“It’s the hard part about the game. Unfortunately, injuries are part of it, and this is his second one. But he and I spoke, he’s going to fight his ass off, and come back, and be ready to go, stronger and better than ever.”"
With the team being hit by the injury bug at what has become a deep and surprising position on the roster, it has been DJ Chark and Chris Conley who have taken the ball, figuratively and literally, and run to daylight this season. Chark leads the AFC in receiving yards with 660. He is seventh overall in the NFL.
Both he and Conley have 39 receptions this season. Keelan Cole, the fifth pass receiver on the roster, has caught two touchdowns in the last two games.
When asked about Chark and his development this season, which is one of the biggest surprises of 2019 so far, Marrone said he is pleased with what he has seen from his second-year player out of LSU. Chark has established himself as a big-time pass catcher who has blazing speed. A lot of what has happened to the former second-round player is a credit to the coaching staff, namely Keenan McCardell.
"“I think for me, like I always say, it goes back to watching him in his first year and obviously, some frustration by him not being able to perform and how he envisioned himself performing, I think he had very high expectations of himself and a lot of times in this league you have to keep working hard to get it, and I give him credit,” Marrone explained. Like I always say, the one thing that no one is seeing is how hard he’s worked to be where he’s at now.”"
The passing game is much better this season, which has helped the wide receivers who were considered average at best before the season began. Having a mobile quarterback who can improvise outside the pocket and create plays to allow his receivers to get open helps the unit as well.
When you look at Chark, you see a player who could be dynamic for a long time in offensive coordinator John DeFilippo’s offense.
"“I think he’s a guy that can take the top off of a defense, he has good speed, he runs the whole route tree, he’s catching the ball very well, contested balls also,” Marrone explained. “He can take a short throw and get really good yards after the catch, so there’s a lot of things that he can do, and I think his overall performance is just going to keep getting better and better.”"