JACKSONVILLE – Dede Westbrook's time may be now.
That may have been true anyway, but it became more likely late in the Jaguars' dramatic overtime over the Los Angeles Chargers Sunday afternoon.
Veteran wide receiver Allen Hurns is expected to miss time after a late-game injury Sunday. When the subject on Monday turned to replacing Hurns, Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone prominently mentioned Westbrook.
"Dede's ready to come back, so hopefully he has a good week and he's ready to go," Marrone said a day after the Jaguars' 20-17 victory at EverBank Field.
Hurns, who caught seven passes for 70 yards Sunday, sustained an ankle injury on a game-tying field-goal drive in the final minute of the fourth quarter. He crawled from the field to avoid the Jaguars being charged a timeout, and his replacement – first-year wide receiver Jaydon Mickens – caught an 11-yard pass for his first NFL reception on the ensuing play.
Marrone said on Monday that Hurns likely will miss the Jaguars' game at Cleveland Sunday, though he declined to speculate further on the injury.
"I wouldn't know after that," Marrone said.
Hurns' injury further thinned an injured receiver group, with Pro Bowl wide receiver Allen Robinson out for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament and starting wide receiver Marqise Lee having played the last three games after missing practice time during week with a knee injury. Reserve Arrelious Benn did not return Sunday after a first-half knee injury.
The Jaguars' other two active receivers Sunday, Mickens and rookie Keelan Cole, finished the game. Wide receiver Jaelen Strong has been inactive since being acquired off waivers on September 19.
Westbrook, a fourth-round selection in the 2017 NFL Draft and the 2016 Biletnikoff Award winner as college football's top receiver, led the NFL with 288 preseason receiving yards on 13 receptions. He scored two preseason touchdowns.
He underwent core-muscle surgery in early September and has been on injured reserve since Week 1. Westbrook has yet to play in the regular season, but Marrone said he has been working with the active players in practice in recent weeks.
"We've been trying to get him – even when he was injured – work like he's playing each week," Marrone said.
Also on Monday:
*Marrone said the team brought in "a couple of long snappers" Monday. Long snapper Matt Overton, signed during training camp after long snapper Carson Tinker sustained a season-ending torn anterior cruciate ligament, left Sunday with a third-quarter shoulder injury.
*Marrone as he did Sunday lauded fullback Tommy Bohanon and guard/center Tyler Shatley for taking over for Overton on Sunday punts and field goals, respectively.
*Marrone reiterated what he said Sunday – that rookie running back Leonard Fournette "had a little bit of a limp" in the second half after rolling his ankle. Fournette, who rushed for 33 yards on 17 carries Sunday, did not play on several fourth-quarter series – and did not have a fourth-quarter carry – before playing in overtime. "We wanted to make sure we put our best guys out there who are healthy and ready to go," Marrone said. …
*Shatley played 59 snaps at left guard Sunday, replacing starter Patrick Omameh in the first half. Omameh had been questionable entering the weekend with a knee injury. "He was injured and limited during the week," Marrone of Omameh. "We felt he would be able to do a good enough job. Even though he was cleared by the doctors, he wasn't playing as effective as he was. That's why we made that decision." …
*Marrone lauded the play of newly-acquired defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, who was credited with four tackles and a quarterback hurry on 26 snaps Sunday. He had registered three tackles and a pressure in his Jaguars debut against the Bengals the previous Sunday. "He can make more plays," Marrone said of Dareus, who was acquired in a bye-week trade with Buffalo. "He's someone that we've got to keep working to increase his snaps because I think he's a heck of a football player.'' Dareus made the Pro Bowl in 2013 and 2014, Marrone's two seasons as the Bills' head coach. "I've seen him play at the highest level," Marrone said. "I really think this last game and the game before – for the amount of snaps he's had, the plays he's made – they've been really good plays, dominating plays. That's something we can get more out of." …