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Jaguars Strong ready for new start, but first he has to find his passport

Roy Cummings



Photo by Zach Bolinger/Icon Sportswire

The Jacksonville Jaguars leave for their annual trip to London on Thursday. Newcomer Jaelen Strong may not be with them when they leave.

The Jaguars claimed Strong off waivers from the Houston Texans on Tuesday, and it’s safe to say he wasn’t completely ready for all that entailed.

While Strong was ready and willing to move on to another team he wasn’t quite ready just yet to move on to a team headed overseas.

 “I wasn’t expecting to have to leave the country,’’ said Strong, who came to realize on Wednesday that he has misplaced his passport.

 “It’s somewhere in my house,” Strong told reporters. My family is there now tearing my house apart looking for it.’’ 

If they find it the Jaguars will add to their lineup on Sunday a wideout who can stretch the field for them.

That became a need when top wideout Allen Robinson went down with a torn ACL just a few plays into the Jaguars season opener.

That the Jaguars have turned to Strong makes sense. A 2015 third-round pick out of Arizona State, he’s only 23 and immensely skilled.

At 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, he has elite NFL size and he ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Just walking walk through the door, Strong’s presence has already left an impression on his new quarterback, Blake Bortles.

 “I didn’t know he was as tall as he is,’’ Bortles said. “That’s obviously a good thing (after) you lose a guy like A-Rob.’’

As impressive as he looks, though, Strong has struggled to make a good impression on the field. He did in Houston anyway.

In 19 games with the Texans, the only team he’s played for in the NFL prior to joining the Jaguars, he’s had just 28 catches.

UPDATE:  The Jaguars finished practice early to depart for London tonight. Strong did not participate due a hamstring injury. And even though his family found his passport, he will not travel with the team for Sunday’s game overseas, but stay behind to rest/rehab.

Roy Cummings is a native of Chicago, Illinois who grew up in the suburb of Lombard. He and his family later moved to Lakeland, Florida, where Roy attended high school at Kathleen High. He graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications in 1983 and immediately went to work for the Tampa Tribune. After five years working in a Polk County bureau covering everything from high school sports to college football to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, Roy moved back to Tampa and became the Tribune's first beat writer for the Tampa Bay Lightning, covering the team from its inception through the first eight years on the ice. He was then moved to the Buccaneers beat, where he stayed until the paper was folded in May, 2016. A two-time Florida Sports Writer of the Year, Roy has extensive experience covering all Tampa professional sports teams, including the Tampa Bay Rays.

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