The Jacksonville Jaguars had good news on Friday, one day after starting wide receivers Cecil Shorts and Justin Blackmon were held out of practice.
Both Shorts (hamstring) and Blackmon (groin) returned to the practice field on Friday and are listed as probable for this Sunday’s game against the Buffalo Bills. Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey told the media that they were held out of practice on Thursday as a precaution after what he described as a physical practice on Wednesday.
Having both Shorts and Blackmon playing on Sunday is important for the Jaguars because their wide receiver depth thins out quickly once you get past the two starters. The Jaguars would likely have to turn to undrafted rookie Kevin Elliott and Jordan Shipley, who has only been on the team for one week, if either starter could not play.
Both Shorts and Blackmon have emerged in a big way the past two weeks with Chad Henne running the offense, and having both on the field gives the Jaguars offense the best chance for success on Sunday.
The Jaguars also ruled out three starters for Sunday. Running back Maurice Jones-Drew (foot), cornerback Derek Cox (hamstring) and defensive end Austen Lane (foot) will all miss Sunday’s game.
Lane’s absence from the starting lineup could provide an opening for the newly acquired Jason Babin to start in his first game in a Jaguars uniform. Babin is expected to provide an immediate boost to the Jags’ stagnant pass rush.
The Jaguars also expect to get fullback Greg Jones (hip) back on the field this week. Jones has missed the last five games and the Jaguars’ rushing offense has struggled in his absence.