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Uncertain future


What the immediate future holds, Matt Turk said he's not certain.

With the Jaguars planning to work out punters this week, and with Turk under criticism from fans and coach Jack Del Rio, the 16-year veteran punter did on Monday what he didn't do the previous afternoon: He discussed his struggles against the Bengals Sunday.

The biggest issue? The wind.

Turk said a stiff wind as bad as any he has played in and blowing into his face was a key factor in the fourth quarter Sunday, particularly on a 22-yard punt that set up the Bengals' 23-yard, game-winning touchdown drive.

"I had a one in 10 chance of hitting a decent punt," Turk said Monday, a day after the Jaguars' 30-20 loss to the Bengals at EverBank Field. "It's just what it is."

Turk, who currently ranks 30th in the NFL in punting with a 39.7-yard average, has a 32.8-yard net punting average this season. He had a 31.6-yard net average Sunday, with a long of 56.

On Monday afternoon, Del Rio said the Jaguars would work out punters this week, but was noncommittal on what that meant regarding Turk's future.

Turk, who signed with the Jaguars as an unrestricted free agent early in training camp this past August, said whatever the next few days bring, "I'm up for it."

"I'm an optimist," Turk said. "I know whatever happens I'm in God's hands. I'll be exactly where I'm supposed to be."

Turk was booed after several punts Sunday, and after one, he raised his hands toward the stands as if to encourage more boos.

"That's frustration," Turk said. "The fans may have been upset, but I was more upset than the fans were. That's me showing my frustration level at the same time they were."

Special teams were a focal point around the Jaguars Monday afternoon, with rookie wide receiver Cecil Shorts also coming under criticism following Sunday's game.

Shorts, who is averaging 3.9 yards a return – 28th in the NFL – said he made several judgment errors Sunday, including letting a 58-yard fourth-quarter punt bounce past him. The punt went out of bounds at the Jaguars 2-yard line.

"The wind was hard to deal with, and I didn't want to take any chances," Shorts said. "I'm going to learn from it and make better decisions next week, keep going. It's natural to be mad about yesterday, but to stay down and not have faith in yourself – I'm not one of those dudes."

Shorts said Del Rio pointed out the errors in film review Monday.

"He just said I had to make better decisions," Shorts said. "I think I was making better decisions up until yesterday. Like I said, the wind was tricky. I have to make better decisions. That comes with experience. I know now."

Shorts, who said he expects to continue returning punts, said he debated whether to catch the punt that bounced to the 2. But he said there were a blocker and defender near, so he decided to be safe and avoid a potential turnover.

 "In that situation, I probably should go up and fair catch it," Shorts said. "It was a tough decision. I made the decision. I'll be a man about it and move on."

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