Jaguars: DJ Chark shows improvement from ankle injury
Second-year wide receiver DJ Chark is another step closer to playing for the Jaguars on Sunday at Atlanta.
On the heels of a huge win on Sunday, the Jacksonville Jaguars got some more positive news on Monday. Wide receiver DJ Chark has shown improvement after suffering an ankle injury against Los Angeles two weeks ago that kept him out of the game this past Sunday at Oakland.
The ankle in question has responded to treatment, which makes Chark’s chances of playing Sunday at Atlanta much better,
Head coach Doug Marrone was pleased with his player’s progress as he discussed the details with the media via conference call Monday afternoon.
"“We got great news today,” Marrone said of Chark. “He’s going to be out on the field running and cutting. Once they get him on the field and he’s running, we’ll see what they saw afterwards.”“If he can do it, and whatever percentage he’s at, then I think there’s a good chance he’ll be able to come back and play. That’s what his mindset is, and that’s good. He’s on the field running and cutting, and that’s a great sign.”"
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While the Jaguars, 5-9, were able to move the ball down the field through the air in the fourth quarter at Oakland, the team sure could have used that are leading pass catcher the first 45 minutes of the game. Gardner Minshew and his wide receivers proved ineffective against the Raiders secondary.
A healthy Chark, who has 954 yards in pass receptions this year, helps open up the middle of the field, and take some of the pressure running back Leonard Fournette, who leads the Jaguars with 73 catches this year. The third-year running back is on pace to catch 80 footballs and run for over 1,200 yards.
Chark, who is in his second season out of LSU, has been a nice surprise for the Jaguars this year. He has also developed quite a rapport with Minshew under center. Together, they have formed one of the more underrated pass–catch combinations in the league this year.
Speaking of Minshew, who now has 17 touchdowns and only five interceptions in his rookie season, Marrone was quick to praise his signal caller for his performance in the fourth quarter on Sunday.
"“He really played an unbelievable fourth quarter,” Marrone said. “There was never a, ‘Here we go again,’ or, ‘I’m not going to be able to work my way out of it.’ He’s got a ton of heart and fight. I think the team knows that, and they’re able to rally around it.”"
Veteran Chris Conley was on the receiving end of the two fourth-quarter touchdown passes from Minshew.
The Jaguars also got a huge day from Keelan Cole, who had three catches for 76 yards, and Fournette once again proved to be an effective receiver out of the backfield.