Jaguars wide receiver Jerry Porter will miss all of training camp and the preseason as he recovers from surgery on a hamstring injury that caused Porter to miss most of spring OTAs. In a release issued Friday evening, the Jaguars said the team is "hopeful that he will return for the regular-season opener on Sept. 7" at Tennessee.
Porter sustained the injury early in spring practices and remained inactive for the rest of the spring. Original reports were that Porter sustained a routine hamstring strain and there were no concerns that the injury would cause him to miss time beyond spring practices.
"He had this issue since it popped in the spring," Jaguars head coach Jack Del Rio told jaguars.com Friday evening. "It's a blessing that we're going to have him for the season. We're going to get him back for the regular season. That's how I see it."
Porter was the Jaguars' lead free-agent acquisition, as the team signed Porter to a six-year contract that included $10 million in guaranteed bonus in a deal worth $30 million overall. He is the proven number one receiver the Jaguars have lacked since Jimmy Smith's retirement in 2006.
"We're happy we got to the bottom of it and we have a handle on it. It's repaired. The doctor feels good about what he did. It was bothersome not to know. It's been repaired and now he needs to rehab," Del Rio said.
Porter was conditioning for the start of training camp when he became concerned that the injury was not improving. He communicated his concerns to Jaguars trainer Mike Ryan, causing Porter to undergo more diagnostic tests. Porter sought the advice of renowned surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Jaguars.com, however, was unable to learn who performed the surgical procedure Porter underwent on Thursday.
"The last few weeks he continued to have problems. That's when we got another read on it. He couldn't push beyond a certain level of conditioning. He got with Dr. Andrews. It wasn't behaving like a normal hamstring," Del Rio said.
Porter, 30, has 284 career receptions, all of them with the Oakland Raiders, and has started 63 of 104 career games played.
Del Rio wouldn't say who would replace Porter in the number one offense, but it could be Mike Walker, who is attempting a comeback from knee surgery that caused Walker to spend his rookie season on the injured reserve list. Walker was a third-round draft pick from Central Florida last year.
"We've got a host of guys," Del Rio said.
The wide receiving corps includes Walker, Reggie Williams, Dennis Northcutt, Troy Williamson, Matt Jones, John Broussard and D'Juan Woods. They were considered to be the top roster contenders when spring OTA practices ended. Jones, of course, was recently arrested in Arkansas for possession of a controlled substance.
Walker has continued his conditioning regimen since the end of OTAs and Del Rio termed his progress as "very good." Walker missed most of OTAs as he continued his rehab from knee surgery, but participated in the final few practices and was extremely impressive.
Three other players – defensive end Jeremy Mincey (wrist), safety Chad Nkang (wrist) and tight end George Wrighster (knee) – could begin training camp on the physically unable to perform list. The Jaguars open training camp on Saturday, July 26.