Jacksonville Jaguars receivers coach Jerry Sullivan prefers that receiver Cecil Shorts, who is battling a hamstring injury, return to action before the start of the regular season.
Shorts was expected to miss at least two weeks after straining his hamstring on July 26, the first day of training camp.
He has been ruled out for Friday night's preseason opener against Tampa Bay.
Shorts also missed parts of Jacksonville's offseason program with a calf strain.
"I don't care if you play 10 years, you still need work," Sullivan said, according to The Florida Times Union. "I don't care who you are or how long you've played. Because you've been there, it helps you, but it's not the same. It's kind of like Gus says, 'You can't learn how to swim by reading a book. You have to get in the water.'"
Shorts, 26, caught 66 passes for 777 yards and three touchdowns last season.
The Jaguars, which went 4-12 and finished third in the AFC South in 2013, open the upcoming season Sept. 7 at Philadelphia.
- Chris Johnson