JACKSONVILLE – Marqise Lee is done for the 2018 season.
Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone made that expected news official during his media availability late Monday morning, confirming that the knee injury sustained by the fifth-year wide receiver is season-ending.
Lee sustained the injury when hit by Atlanta Falcons safety Damontae Kazee midway through the first quarter of the Jaguars' Preseason Week 3 victory at TIAA Bank Field Saturday.
Marrone said Lee will be placed on injured reserve later Monday and is expected to undergo surgery soon.
"Obviously, it's a loss for us," Marrone said as the Jaguars (2-1 in the preseason) prepared to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (2-1) in the 2018 preseason finale at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Thursday at 7:30 p.m. "Marqise brought a level of toughness to that room, and he obviously has been a very productive player for us in the past – specifically on third down."
Marrone said he wants Lee to be around the team this season as he rehabilitates.
"I think he can help us," Marrone said. "We had a situation last year with a player (former Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson) and we're trying to do the same thing. We want to make sure we keep him around, get him better and get him prepared for the following year."
Fifth-year veteran Donte Moncrief, rookie DJ Chark Jr. and second-year veterans Keelan Cole and Dede Westbrook are all expected to play key roles at receiver this season, with fourth-year veteran Rashad Greene and second-year veteran Jaydon Mickens also possibilities at fifth and possibly sixth receiver. All have played extensively in the preseason, and all played extensively against Atlanta Saturday.
"I feel very confident about the players we have at that position," Marrone said. "I still see it as competition there. We're not settled on some of the spots at receiver, but we feel we're good enough to go into the season with the guys that we think will make the team. …
"It will have to come from a lot of different people. I don't see it really specifically that one person is going to take the place of another. I feel that way about every position. When you lose a good football player, you're going to have to try to get a little bit from everybody.
"You can't expect one person just to take it up to the same level. If they do, that's great, but I think it comes from a little bit of everybody."
Asked if the team was better equipped to handle such a loss than a year ago, Marrone replied, "We'll see."
"You'd like to be able to do that, but whether you sit here and answer 'yes,' or you sit here and answer 'no,' it's all going to depend on how they play and their performance when they play games," Marrone said. "Obviously, there is some experience with those players."
Marrone was asked about the possibility of signing another receiver and was specifically asked about former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant.
"We feel comfortable with what we have now, but if we feel at any position that we can get ourselves better, we're always going to look at that," he said. "That's kind of business as usual for us."
*Marrone began his Monday media availability by addressing shootings in Jacksonville over the weekend at Raines High School and the Jacksonville Landing. "The victims, the families of the victims, the people who were down there, the first responders – they're in our thoughts and prayers as they work through this," he said. "It's a tough situation."
*Cornerback C.J. Reavis (concussion protocol), safety Tashaun Gipson (stinger), tight end Ben Koyack (knee) and center Brandon Linder (knee) are expected to miss practice Monday. …
*Cornerback A.J. Bouye, safety Ronnie Harrison, linebacker Donald Payne, nose tackle Eli Ankou, defensive end Dawuane Smoot are expected to practice Monday after missing the Atlanta game. Ankou (knee) and Smoot (ankle) missed the first three preseason games. …
*Nose tackle Marcell Dareus is expected to practice Monday after leaving practice with a pectoral injury. "He's fine," Marrone said of Dareus. "He's practicing."