JACKSONVILLE – A tough camp got a bit tougher for the Jaguars' receivers.
Mike Brown, a second-year veteran expected to be one of the team's top three wide receivers in the preseason opener Friday, missed the end of the 11th practice of Jaguars 2014 Training Camp Wednesday with a hamstring issue. He is considered day-to-day.
Brown's injury isn't expected to be long-term, and by itself, it's apparently minor.
But it's another of what has become a long line of short-term injuries at wide receiver, a nagging stretch that has become frustrating for a group trying to gel and become a reliable component of a young offense.
"It's been frustrating for them and for me and for us as a team," wide receivers coach Jerry Sullivan said Wednesday before an hour-and-forty-five minute practice at the Florida Blue Health and Wellness Practice Fields.
"But things like that happen. You just have to adjust and go. Next man up."
The Jaguars, after missing as many as seven receivers during organized team activities and minicamps, have had similar issues in a week and a half of training camp.
"I've never seen anything like it," second-year veteran Kerry Taylor said. "I don't even know what to call it."
Veteran Cecil Shorts III and rookie Allen Robinson, two of the team's first three receivers along with rookie Marqise Lee, are out with hamstring injuries, and fourth-year veteran Tandon Doss – who signed as an unrestricted free agent in the offseason from the Baltimore Ravens – sustained a sprained ankle late week and also is out "an extend period."
Ace Sanders, expected to compete for the No. 4 position and a punt return role, is suspended for the first four games of the season and is out of camp dealing with personal issues. Given the situation, Sullivan said early Wednesday he expected rookie free-agent Allen Hurns, Lee and Brown to work as the top three receivers in the preseason opener against Tampa Bay Friday.
Hurns, who missed Tuesday with a hip flexor, returned on Wednesday and said he expects to start Friday, but Brown did not finish practice.
"It's more hamstring tightness," Bradley said of Brown, adding that the team overall has avoided soft tissue injuries during camp. "I think what we have to be careful of (at receiver) is the piling on. We need to guard against the piling on the reps to other guys. I think it would become more frustrating if we were getting closer to the first [regular season] game. But it's the first preseason game. We're going to get the opportunity to see a lot of the young guys so we're going to make sure we do that."
The Jaguars on Wednesday signed fifth-year veteran wide receiver and fourth-year veteran wide receiver Chad Hall. They released rookie safety Jerome Junior and waived/injured rookie wide receiver Nathan Slaughter, who sustained a foot injury this week.
The Jaguars' healthy receivers entering Friday are Lee, Hurns, Taylor, Chad Bumphis, Lamaar Thomas, recently-signed rookie Kenny Shaw, Barden and Hall.
Hall had 16 receptions for 155 yards and two touchdowns, having played for Philadelphia in 2010 and 2011 and Kansas City last season. Barden played with the New York Giants from 2009-2012, catching 29 passes for 394 yards.
The Jaguars did get a hint of good news at receiver Wednesday, with Shorts running full speed in the morning. He said he expects to be able to run routes full-go Thursday, though he said he plans to be smart and cautious in his return.
"After tomorrow, I'll have a better idea of how the next couple weeks will go," he said.
LOOKING ON . . .
*Bradley confirmed what the team's unofficial depth chart indicated early this week, that veteran cornerback Will Blackmon will open returning punts Friday against Tampa Bay and running back Jordan Todman will handle kickoffs.
*Sullivan on Robinson's extended absence with a hamstring injury, first in the offseason and now in training camp: "It doesn't help. I trust his mental toughness and the fact that I feel like we can help him get ready. Hopefully, he'll progress pretty quickly now and get ready." …
*Bradley on veteran tight end Marcedes Lewis: "Very good camp, very good camp. Hearing from him, he said it's the best shape he's come in in a while. And he's taking care of his body – his run blocking, his pass stuff – he's really done a nice job." …
*The minor skirmishes that have occurred on occasion during 2014 training camp continued Wednesday, with Blackmon and Bumphis being separated by teammates midway through practice. The two spoke, shook hands and "hugged it out" after practice. Defensive tackle Tyson Alualu and guard Zane Beadles had skirmished on Tuesday. "I think the chance to go against another team (Friday) will be good for us," Bradley said. "You go against each other so long; it's nice to have an opportunity to go against someone else." …
"We came out in no pads today. I felt it was one of our most intense practices and it was good to see. Every day they've worked really hard; today was no different. I think for them to learn we can come out and really have an elevated practice in no pads is good for them, so that part's good.''
--- Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley
"(Wide receiver) Mike Brown shows up every day. When you go out there and watch practice every day, you see Mike Brown showing up. Gus always says to our players to not be Superman, just be the best guy you can be. That's Mike Brown on a daily basis."
--- Jaguars Wide Receivers Coach Jerry Sullivan
A daily training camp thought from Jaguars.com Senior Correspondent Brian Sexton …
"I want to see (in the preseason opener Friday) if Denard Robinson really has moved into that backup (running back) role. Obviously, he's a guy who runs well. He's a terrific athlete, but he has to be able to play as a receiver and play in pass protection if he's going to be that complete No. 2 back, that change-of-pace back for (starter) Toby Gerhart. I'd also like to see the offensive line move guys off the ball."
The Jacksonville Jaguars on their tenth day of 2014 Training Camp.