JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars wide receiver corps will be thinner Sunday.
Marqise Lee, a starting wide receiver in the first two games of the 2014 regular season, will not play against the Indianapolis Colts Sunday because of a hamstring injury. Lee told reporters during the team's open locker room period he doubted he would play, and the team ruled him out shortly thereafter.
Lee, a second-round selection in the 2014 NFL Draft, experienced hamstring tightness during practice Wednesday and was listed on the injury report as limited. He had played in a loss to Washington Sunday after being limited with a hamstring issue in practice last week.
"We just have to treat it now," Lee said Thursday as the Jaguars (0-2) prepared to play the Indianapolis Colts (0-2) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m.
"That's pretty much about it. We want to make sure I'm 100 percent before I come back and try to do anything."
Asked specifically about his chances of playing this weekend, Lee replied, "I doubt it will happen on Sunday."
"My main focus is getting it right," Lee said. "A hamstring can linger. If you continue to try to come back, come back, come back at 85 and 90 (percent) you still can have issues."
Lee, who has eight receptions for 73 yards in two games, said he was fine during the game on Sunday, then pulled the area a little Wednesday.
"We decided to shut it down, and wait until the trainers say I'm good to go," he said. "It's something you can't control. We all know this is part of football. You get injured and go through this process. We just have to go through this process, get my treatment going and I'll be all right."
Lee's absence would further deplete an already young, injured receiving corps.
Rookie wide receiver Allen Robinson and second-year veteran Mike Brown practiced full Wednesday, and Tavarres King – signed from the Carolina practice squad Tuesday – also practiced full. But two others key to the Jaguars' wide receiver rotation – rookie Allen Hurns and veteran Cecil Shorts III – are dealing with injuries.
Hurns, who started the first two games with Shorts out with a hamstring injury, sustained an ankle injury on the Jaguars' final offensive play against Washington. He did not practice Wednesday, and although he is out of the protective boot he wore early in the week he is considered day to day.
Shorts, the Jaguars' leading receiver over the past two seasons and the only player in the receiving corps with more than two years NFL experience, practiced limited Wednesday and said during the team's open locker room period Thursday he expects to practice Thursday.
That's significant because it's the first time since the regular season began he has practiced past Thursday of game week.
"Last week, I felt some pain (Wednesday), but it felt good yesterday (this Wednesday)," Shorts said. "We'll see how today feels. Today (Thursday) is a big day. I'm excited. It will be a good day today."
Shorts, who missed the first two preseason games with a hamstring injury, returned to play the final two preseason games before tweaking the area the week of the regular-season opener. Jaguars Head Coach Gus Bradley said after practice Wednesday that Shorts had looked good during that work.
Shorts was asked Thursday if Lee's absence adds urgency to his return.
"You don't want to think that way," Shorts said. "But in that situation it does make you think, 'I need to play this week.' I would like to play this week – a lot. But I'm just focused on getting through today, getting through today, and we'll see what happens after that."
Robinson, like Lee a rookie second-round draft selection, has been able to work full the last two weeks in practice after missing the entire preseason with a hamstring issue. He led the Jaguars with four receptions for 75 yards against Washington last week.
"We want to get back to 100 percent full strength," Robinson said. "At the same time, we're not able to do that right now. We'll still continue to help each other out as many ways as possible. We have to go out and produce. "Each and every day, you don't know what's going to happen, so you have to prepare yourself for all scenarios."