The Jacksonville Jaguars offense may not need to score a lot of points to beat Mark Sanchez and the New York Jets on Sunday, but it appears that they are going to have to get it done at less than full strength.
Starting wide receiver Cecil Shorts missed his second consecutive day of practice on Thursday, as symptoms from a concussion he suffered in last Sunday’s loss to the Buffalo Bills continued to linger. Jaguars head coach Mike Mularkey said that Shorts passed his concussion test, but he is still experiencing some ill effects.
The Jaguars have not yet ruled Shorts out for Sunday, but they may be more cautious with their top wide receiver, especially considering the problems that multiple concussions have caused Laurent Robinson.
If Shorts cannot go on Sunday, the Jaguars will likely turn to undrafted rookie Kevin Elliott and Jordan Shipley to pick up the slack.
The Jaguars last-ranked rushing offense will also likely be without running backs Maurice Jones-Drew (foot) and Rashad Jennings (concussion) on Sunday.
This would be the seventh consecutive game missed for Jones-Drew as he struggles to return from his mid-foot sprain. Jennings, who has averaged less than three yards per carry this season, has spent the entire 2012 season on the sideline, either with injuries or being completely ineffective behind a poor offensive line.
The Jaguars have announced that special teams ace Montell Owens will start at running back on Sunday, his first start at running back in his seven year NFL career. After Owens, the Jaguars have Richard Murphy and Jordan Todman who have no real NFL experience.
All of this means that Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne will have to put the offense on his back on Sunday against a good Jets defense.