Friday update: Chark expected to play

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Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver D.J. Chark (17) dives for a catch in front of Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Carlton Davis (33) during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 1, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars' best receiver could play Sunday.

DJ Chark Jr., the Jaguars' second-year wide receiver, is expected to play against the Atlanta Falcons. That according to Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone.

"I'm expecting him to play," Marrone said Friday afternoon as the Jaguars (5-9) prepared to play the Atlanta Falcons (5-9) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga., Sunday at 1 p.m.

Chark, who leads the Jaguars this season in receiving yards and touchdown receptions, missed a victory over the Oakland Raiders with an ankle injury sustained in a loss to the Los Angeles Chargers the previous week.

He worked limited Friday and was listed as questionable on the official game-status report.

"He was limited today, but he didn't miss that much," Chark said. "He's done a great job. He's a guy who has soon as he was injured, he was like: 'I'm going to play. I'm going to be back next week.' He wasn't, but the attitude … that's what you want to see.

"I think it's that attitude that has put him in a position that he should be able to play this week. That helps us."

Chark, a second-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft, has 67 receptions for 956 yards and eight touchdowns this season. He needs 44 yards receiving for his first 1,000-yard season.

"For everyone, especially when the overall of the season has been a disappointment, you do like to see those individuals who have worked extremely hard you do like to see those individuals who have worked extremely hard get to a goal of what they want to do," Marrone said. "He's worked extremely hard to be in a position he's in.

"We obviously know he's talented. He's a player that I believe is just going to continue to get better, so if that was one of his goals – and probably it is – that would be great."

Chark was the lone player on the Jaguars' game status report Friday. All other players listed on the injury report were removed and are expected to play. Those players are:

Wide receiver Dede Westbrook (neck/shoulder), quarterback Gardner Minshew II (right shoulder), cornerback A.J. Bouye (hamstring), cornerback D.J. Hayden (knee), defensive end Josh Allen (shoulder), linebacker Austin Calitro (shoulder), center Brandon Linder (knee), left tackle Cam Robinson (knee), tight end Nick O'Leary (shoulder), end Calais Campbell (back) and defensive tackle Abry Jones (elbow). Bouye, Hayden and Allen all worked limited Friday and the others listed worked full.

Marrone on Friday also said he was pleased with the players' focus and preparation this week. Jaguars Owner Shad Khan on Wednesday relieved Tom Coughlin of his duties as the Jaguars' Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

"They've been good," Marrone said. "I got up in front of the team [Friday] and I told them, 'There so much from OTAs (organized team activities in the offseason) on that has gone on …' When you're on the outside, you can easily look and say, 'Well, it's their job and you've got to stay focused.' …

"Even though we're disappointed in our performance on Sundays, they've really shown some resiliency as far as handling that and not getting pulled away and working together. … The team has done a good job. Even though it hasn't shown on Sundays from our performance. They've done a good job of staying focused."

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