Jaguars starting wide receiver Marqise Lee will undergo season-ending knee surgery and will be placed on injured reserve, head coach Doug Marrone confirmed on Monday. Lee took a hard hit after catching a pass from Blake Bortles in their Week 3 preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons and it was not pretty at all.
Marqise .. 😔 pic.twitter.com/KEjB4R7XCZ
— Full Press Jaguars (@FPC_Jaguars) August 25, 2018
It is hard to not feel sympathy for the 5th year receiver out of USC. Lee was in line for a big season in 2018. On top of the fact that he had just signed a new contract in March, there was also the feeling that Lee could have his best season of his career now that former Jaguars receiver Allen Robinson had departed in free agency to the Chicago Bears. Now that his season has prematurely ended, Lee will look to have a full recovery and be more than ready by the time the 2019 Training Camp arrives. The Jaguars meanwhile, will look for a way to fill the void left by Lee. But, this brings a question to mind, how will the Jaguars fill this void?
There are many ways that the Jaguars can fill the void left by Marqise Lee. Tom Coughlin and company can choose to pursue a free agent receiver such as Dez Bryant or Jeremy Maclin, or they can keep it in-house and look for one of their young receivers to step up and fill in. If Coach Marrone’s comments are any indication, we are looking at the latter.
When asked whether or not the Jaguars would look to bring a free agent in, Doug Marrone replied, “No, I think we feel comfortable with what we have now. If we feel at any position that we can get ourselves better, we’re always going to look at that. That’s kind of business as usual for us.”
Who On The Jaguars Can Replace Lee?
Without Lee, the Jaguars receiving corps is led by newly signed Donte Moncrief from the Indianapolis Colts. This group also includes 2nd-year receivers in Dede Westbrook and Keelan Cole, as well as rookies D.J. Chark (2nd round) and Allen Lazard (undrafted).
Moncrief was asked about Lee’s injury and how to replace him and he stated that, “Everybody’s got to step up” and that “Everybody in the room’s got to be ready to go, from the young guys to me. He was one of the big roles in the offense”. Fully expect the young Jaguars receivers to step up.
- Keelan Cole led the Jaguars in receiving yards in 2017 and has enjoyed a strong camp. Cole is a strong candidate to fill in and excel alongside Donte Moncrief.
- Rookie D.J. Chark possesses a lenghty frame along with wicked speed for his height. Besides having the physical attributes needed to succeed, he has also been showing off against the best defenders in the league. As fellow writer Brad Harvin stated before, “Chark may have been the 8th wide receiver selected in the draft, but his impact on the field for the Jaguars has the potential to be priceless“
— Mike Kaye (@mike_e_kaye) August 1, 2018
- Dede Westbrook, the former Bletnikoff award winner in 2016 (awarded to College Football’s best wide receiver) had a strong rookie season and will look to have an even better season in 2018.
Every time there is a high profile free agent out there, it seems like football fans and the national media want to immediately look for teams to sign these free agent after injuries occur. However, one must realize that injuries are part of the sport and that is why the term “next man up” exists. There isn’t a need for a high profile free agent such as Dez Bryant when the receivers on this team have worked all off-season for this opportunity to shine. The Jaguars will be okay.
Hoping for a speedy recovery, Marqise.