The Jacksonville Jaguars have been lucky so far this preseason in terms of major injuries, but they have had a couple of minor injuries to key players that they are being extremely cautious with.
Two pieces of the Jaguars young foundation, wide receiver Cecil Shorts and offensive tackle Luke Joeckel, are currently dealing with minor injuries that have held them out of practice this week. Instead of rushing the two players back, the Jaguars have made the conscious decision to let them get fully healed before putting them back out on the field and risking further injury.
The Jaguars new approach is smart, because they already know what they have in Shorts and Joeckel and would rather see them completely healthy when the regular season begins then to give them some meaningless preseason snaps and risk making their injuries worse unnecessarily. In years past, the Jaguars have struggled with properly managing injured players and it has led to players nursing injuries throughout the entire season or ending up on the injured reserve list.
Shorts is nursing a calf strain that has kept him out of practice since last week. Even without the preseason reps, he has locked up his role at the Jaguars number one wide receiver. While the two quarterbacks who are vying for the starting quarterback job would probably like the benefit of throwing to Shorts this preseason, having him completely healthy is the only thing that concerns the Jaguars coaching staff.
Joeckel is nursing a hip flexor injury that he apparently suffered during the Jaguars scrimmage at the end of training camp. Like Shorts, if the Jaguars were playing a real game this weekend he would probably be playing, but there is no reason to rush him back and risk making a minor injury something much worse.
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