With Marqise Lee and Rashad Greene dealing with injuries, Walters has seen increased action in recent weeks and has taken advantage. He had the best game of his career in last Sunday’s loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, posting a career-high in receptions, targets and yards. He now has 10 receptions for 136 yards on the season and is the team’s primary option out of the slot.
The road to get to this point has not been an easy one for Walters. He was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the San Diego Chargers in 2010. After a couple of years bouncing between the practice squad and active roster, Walters was released in 2012 and had a brief stint with the Minnesota Vikings. He signed with the Seattle Seahawks in 2013 and spent time on their practice squad and active roster. In total, he has been cut 10 times in his six-year career.
The Jaguars signed him this past offseason to compete with Tandon Doss and Ace Sanders for the punt return job. Walters wound up making the final roster as the No. 5 receiver despite not winning the starting punt return job. However, just when it seemed he had finally found stability for the first time in his career, he was cut in September when the Jaguars were in need of an extra defensive back and called up Peyton Thompson from the practice squad. Walters was back three days later after Greene was injured and he doesn’t appear to be going anywhere anytime soon.
Walters’ greatest asset is his strong hands — he catches nearly everything thrown in his direction. He also has the ability to return punts. His 10 receptions have come on just 12 targets and although undrafted rookie Nick Marshall has been the team’s primary punt returner in recent weeks, Walters could still be called upon if needed.
With Greene on the short-term injured reserve and ineligible to play until Nov. 19 against the Tennessee Titans, and Lee still dealing with a hamstring injury that has bothered him since training camp, Walters’ role should continue to increase in the coming weeks.