Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Cecil Shorts was well on his way of having a great camp this year, but the third year receiver left Monday's practice early with a strained calf. Hays Carlyon of the Florida Times-Union reported that the receiver suffered the injury while running a deep sideline route.
Shorts limped off the field and hasn't returned to practice this week. Coach Gus Bradley said he doesn't think the injury is serious, but at this time, the young receiver's status is uncertain.
Jaguars senior writer, John Oehser, reported Wednesday morning that Shorts is unlikely to make the team's preseason opener Friday night against the Miami Dolphins.
If Shorts misses a significant amount of time this season, it could be a major blow to the team. Shorts had breakout year in 2012 and was the Jaguars leading receiver with 979 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. The Jaguars drafted Oklahoma State standout Justin Blackmon in the first round of the 2012 draft, but it was second-year receiver Shorts who became the star in the Jaguars passing game.
Shorts was having another stellar camp this year before going down with an injury. For the Jaguars to improve their 21st-ranked passing game, they'll need their leading receiver to return to the lineup. And the sooner the better. With a quarterback competition brewing between third-year player Blaine Gabbert and inconsistent veteran Chad Henne, the Jaguars offense could use their best receiver back in camp to help build chemistry with the young QBs. Plus, Shorts's presence on the field should help alleviate some of the pressure off high profile former first round pick Justin Blackmon.
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