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Open locker room: Waiting and seeing with WR Cecil Shorts III


JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars are waiting and seeing with Cecil Shorts III.

But whatever the veteran wide receiver's status for Sunday, there is confidence in a passing game that features a trio of young, developing wide receivers.

As far as Shorts, who missed the regular-season opener against Philadelphia Sunday, Jaguars Offensive Coordinator Jedd Fisch and Head Coach Gus Bradley on Wednesday said it's a situation that will be monitored throughout the week.

"We'll have to see what he looks like out there," Fisch said Wednesday afternoon before practice as the Jaguars prepared to play the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, Sunday at 1 p.m.

"We'll see what he looks like today, and see how he runs around, then see how much he can handle. We'll go it again tomorrow (Thursday) and do it again on Friday. If we can see that he can do it three times, we'll be excited about Sunday."

Bradley told Washington media Wednesday morning on a conference call that the team will see how Shorts progresses through the week, and he also said safety Johnathan Cyprien has not yet been cleared for contact.

Cyprien sustained a concussion in a loss to Philadelphia Sunday, a game Shorts missed with an ongoing hamstring issue.

"It'd be great to have Cecil back this week," Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne said. "I know he's going to practice today and some tomorrow. We'll see how he feels and if he's ready to go we're going to be more than happy to have him. But guys have done a good job and need to improve from Week 1 to Week 2."

Shorts, the most-experienced player in a young wide receiving corps, had missed the first two preseason games with the issue, re-tweaked it last Thursday, then was ruled out Saturday. Shorts ran Tuesday on the Jaguars' off day.

With Shorts out Sunday, the Jaguars started rookies Marqise Lee and Allen Hurns, with rookie Allen Robinson and second-year veteran Mike Brown playing reserve roles. Hurns caught four passes for 110 yards and first-quarter touchdowns of 34 and 21 yards, while Lee caught six passes for 62 yards.

Robinson, a rookie who missed the entire preseason with a hamstring injury, caught one pass for no yards and Brown caught three passes for 36 yards.

"We hope Cecil can get back as soon as possible and healthy, but I thought the guys did a good job last week," Brown said. "There's a lot to learn from on film for all us."

That's a total of 14 receptions for 208 yards, but the Jaguars as a team dropped six passes in the second half, with only Lee and Brown catching passes after halftime. Lee caught five passes in the second half for 57 yards and Brown caught one pass for nine yards.

"They had a good first outing with a lot of room for growth," Fisch said. "I think they'd all point to plays they could tell they probably would have preferred to have executed different."

Fisch said that was the case with all three rookie receivers, with Lee having a chance to convert a first down in the first half, Robinson having a chance at a big play on a screen pass and Hurns having a chance to convert a key late third down with the score tied.

"I'm sure all the young guys would probably point to something they would like to take back, but truthfully, we all would, coaches and players," Fisch said.

The Jaguars also had communication issues in the second half that led to multiple times out called by Henne, which Bradley on Monday said related somewhat to the youth at the receiver position.

Also around the Jaguars Wednesday:

*Rookie running back Storm Johnson said he expects to practice Wednesday, though with his repetitions limited somewhat. Johnson missed the regular-season opener with an ankle injury sustained in the preseason finale against Atlanta. "It's how the cards are played, so I'm focused now on what I can control to get back on the field 100 percent," Johnson said. …

*Clay Harbor said while he doesn't expect to practice Wednesday he hasn't given up on the possibility of playing against the Redskins. The veteran tight end missed the regular-season opener and all of preseason with a calf injury. Harbor ran on Tuesday and said he continues to progress. "We'll see how it feels today," Harbor said. "It felt better, getting out there and running around. We'll  do some more rehabs stuff today, see how it feels and go from there. I'm going to do whatever I can to get back on the field." …

*Fisch said while he had a couple of high snaps and a penalty, overall center Jacques McClendon played pretty good in his first start at the position. Bradley said Monday the team is comfortable with the third-year veteran starting there Sunday.

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