The Jaguars are still riding the wave created by the thrill of so handily beating the Texans on Sunday, but Tuesday always brings a change of focus toward a new opponent and a new challenge, and and that is surely the case in Jacksonville.
Off the field the Jaguars are now being forced to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma just as much as the Buccaneers and Dolphins are, while on it, they are looking for an answer to this critical question:
Where can they get the help they need at wide receiver?
Losing star wideout Allen Robinson to an ACL tear in the first quarter of the game Sunday has further depleted a position group that was already missing some potentially valuable pieces.
With Rashad Greene, Shane Wynn, and rookie Dede Westbrook on IR, the Jaguars do not have a lot of in-house options to turn to help fill the void.
For now, the most obvious candidates are veteran slot receiver Allen Hurns, promising, but so far underachieving, Marqise Lee,and special teams ace Arrelious Benn.
The team could also turn to undrafted rookie Keelan Cole, who had a breakout game against the New England Patriots in the preseason opener and now will be asked to step in and show what he can do with the games for real.
They aren’t the worst of options, but given the depleted nature of the group and the relative lack of experience of some of its members, it’s possible the Jaguars could look outside of their building for help as well.
And one place they may want to look is Tampa, where they’ll find former Buccaneer, Vincent Jackson, a former Pro Bowler whom we are told is still in shape and has been waiting for the opportunity to catch on with someone.
The Jaguars could offer that opportunity. The question, of course, is would Jackson, now 34, want to play for what has been year in and year out one of the worst franchises in the NFL? We may find out.
Not that Jackson is their only option. Anquan Boldin recently retired from the NFL after being in the Buffalo Bills training camp. The perennial Pro Bowl receiver, who has won a Super Bowl with the Ravens and also had success with the Cardinals and 49ers doesn’t seem too eager to come out of retirement, but that fast start by the Jags may change his mind a bit.
The Jaguars might also be interested in taking a chance on former Eagles and Buccaneers speedster Josh Huff. With 37 games under his belt he obviously has game experience and he could be signed for the league minimum. Whether he has the right work ethic to earn one more chance is debatable but the Jaguars aren’t really in a position to be picky.
And then there’s former Packers and Raiders wide receiver James Jones (above), who has a ton of experience and at 33 might be a good veteran touch to catch underneath routes and play in the slot. Jones, after not playing last year, announced that he is retired only last week so he may be worth invesitgating.
So, the Jaguars do have a couple of options in house, and a few on the outside that are worth looking into. Good thing, too, because a position group that once seemed so deep that Hurns was deemed expendable, at least in some circles, suddenly looks rather thin.
And it’s only Week 2.