HARD TO REPLACE
Cecil Shorts will be missed in the regular-season finale.
That much is obvious, considering the second-year wide receiver was the Jaguars’ most consistent big-play threat this season – and maybe the best offensive player.
But with Shorts having been placed on injured reserve, the bigger question for Sunday is who will take his place in the lineup. The answer, according to Head Coach Mike Mularkey, is many, many players – and none of them particularly well-known.
“A number of them are going to be out there, but it will be hard to replace what Cecil’s brought to our team this year with his big plays and his threat of stretching the field,” Mularkey said as the Jaguars (2-13) prepared to play the Tennessee Titans (5-10) at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn., Sunday at 1 p.m.
Mularkey said wide receivers such as
Clemons, Brown, Shipley and Jackson all have been added to the roster since mid-November.
“It will be hard,” Mularkey said. “We’re going to have some young guys who are going to have to make some plays. For some, it will be one of the few times they’ve gotten a chance to play and have a ball thrown to them in the NFL.”
The Jaguars placed Shorts on injured reserve Monday with a second concussion in three weeks. He finished the season with 979 yards receiving, 21 yards shy of becoming the first Jaguars player since Jimmy Smith in 2005 to have 1,000 or more yards receiving in a season.
Jones-Drew, who has missed the last nine games with a foot sprain, ran Wednesday morning, and though he ran better than he had since sustaining the injury October 17 at Oakland, Mularkey said the three-time Pro Bowl selection remained questionable for Sunday.
Nwaneri failed a baseline concussion test Wednesday and will take another Friday.
“He’s not ruled out as of yet,” Mularkey said.
“I was coaching tight ends for the Dolphins when we were 1-15 (in 2007). I can tell you it was a totally different atmosphere than it is here. Starting Monday through Sunday, it was different. The chances of winning down there were not good on Sundays when we stepped on the field – as they are here. No. 1, it’s the way these guys have come into work trying to prep and get ready for the games – even after tough losses. It’s a hard thing mentally, but these guys have responded. I’m not proud about the losses, but one thing that’s shown is we’re closer than most think against anybody.”
QB CHAD HENNE SAYS
“I think there has been great progress overall. I think we’re getting some things done on offense – more yards, getting the passing attack going – but there’s still a lot of improvement. We’ve got a lot of young guys. We’ve got a lot of injured guys that are stepping in for us to take over. Overall guys are still very resilient, still playing hard and coming out with the right attitude.”
LB PAUL POSLUSZNY SAYS
“Even though we were in tough spots at times, the guys always played hard – played hard and stuck together to the end. You never saw us give up. You never saw us quit in a game. We obviously had a hard time winning, but we fought hard regardless of the situation.”
A VOTE FOR THE BANGER
The NFL will announce the AFC and NFC Pro Bowl teams at 7 p.m. Wednesday, and although few Jaguars players likely will receive consideration, Mularkey said rookie punter
The Jaguars will practice Thursday and Friday as they prepare for Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans at LP Field in Nashville, Tenn.