Jaguars: Could TE Jacob Hollister make his debut vs Cardinals?

Green Bay Packers DB Stephen Denmark (34) and Buffalo Bills tight end Jacob Hollister (80) (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Green Bay Packers DB Stephen Denmark (34) and Buffalo Bills tight end Jacob Hollister (80) (Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Jacksonville Jaguars signed tight end Jacob Hollister before the 2021 season started. Although he’s been inactive over the last two games, he could make his debut against the Arizona Cardinals in Week 3.

Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer had a sitdown with the local media Monday and went over the injuries the team suffered during their 23-13 loss to the Denver Broncos. Meyer mentioned that cornerback C.J. Henderson has a mild groin issue, wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr. suffered a shoulder injury, and A.J. Cann hurt his hamstring. All of them should be at full strength soon. On the other hand, the outlook wasn’t as encouraging for tight end James O’Shaughnessy, who suffered an ankle injury against the Broncos and could be out for several weeks.

With O’Shaughnessy out for the foreseeable future, the coaching staff may consider giving Hollister a shot. Earlier this year, the Wyoming product signed with the Buffalo Bills but was released during the last round of roster cuts ahead of the season. He then landed in Jacksonville and it looked like he would quickly become a key cog on offense. However, he’s been been a healthy scratch in the last two games.

Hollister isn’t an elite tight end. Otherwise, the Bills wouldn’t have let him go. Nevertheless, he can give the Jags’ tight end room a boost. Maybe he hasn’t made his debut with the Black and Teal because the coaching staff is bringing him up to speed. But it’s possible that O’Shaughnessy will speed up the process. In the last two years, he appeared in 27 games with eight starts and caught 66 receptions for 558 yards and six touchdowns. The Jaguars would surely welcome that kind of production.

How has the Jacksonville Jaguars’ tight end room fare in 2021?

O’Shaughnessy started both games and hauled in seven receptions for 72. Meanwhile, Manhertz and Ferrell have caught a combined two receptions for 28 yards and one touchdown. The Jaguars’ offense currently ranks 27th in points scored. Moving forward, they need better production from their tight ends. Of course, they also need quarterback Trevor Lawrence to bounce back after having a less-than-stellar performance against the Broncos.

In Week 1, Lawrence completed 28 of 51 passes for 332 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. Manhertz caught one of the scores, and O’Shaughnessy had six receptions. It’s clear the rookie trusts his tight ends. That’s why giving Hollister a shot makes sense.

It will be interesting to see if Hollister will be active in Week 3. And if he is, how many snaps will he get? After all, he is a more complete tight end than Manhertz and he’s more polished at this point of his career than Farrell, so it would make sense for the coaching staff to get him involved against the Cardinals.

The Jaguars haven’t been able to kickstart their offense in the last two games. They have shown flashes but not enough to consistently score. Maybe Hollister could give the unit a boost.

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