Jaguars' WR DJ Chark Ruled Out For Week 3 Vs. Dolphins
The Jacksonville Jaguars have ruled receiver DJ Chark out, meaning the star receiver will not play in the Thursday Night Football matchup against the Miami Dolphins tonight.
The Pro Bowler was listed as 'questionable' on Wednesday with a chest/back injury. The club announced he'd been downgraded to 'out' around 2 p.m. on Thursday.
Head coach Doug Marrone told local reporters that the injury was sustained last Sunday in the Jags 33-30 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Chark went up for a deep 45-yard pass from quarterback Gardner Minshew II with two defenders bracketing him. He made the catch and put the Jaguars in the red zone, on which they capitalized.
"This week we’re being careful [with DJ]...but yeah, that’s the play that happened on," said Marrone on Wednesday.
That play happened in the 1st quarter versus the Titans, on the Jags second offensive drive of the day, and Chark continued to play, finishing with four receptions for 84 yards. He had three receptions for 25 yards and a touchdown in Jacksonville's Week 1 win against the Indianapolis Colts.
Much of the Jaguars offense has run through Chark the past couple of seasons. But as Chark himself told reporters on Sunday, Jacksonville has added enough weapons around him that Minshew now has a list of options.
"We have a lot of guys that's capable of making plays," began Chark.
You can have the rookie Laviska [Shenault] come in and run the ball as well as go out there and catch the ball, that makes the defensive coordinator have to prepare for that, and then you add guys like [Keelan] Cole, Chris [Conley], you also have Collin [Johnson] that comes in and makes big plays and has the potential to make big plays.
"It takes a lot of stress off of me for sure, and it just feels good because if I'm out there and I'm not—if it's not my game, if I'm just not having a good game, I know that my receivers are going to make plays, the running back [James Robinson] is definitely going to make plays. He's running through the hole. My linemen are moving people. It gives you more confidence and takes a load off everyone's shoulder because it's teamwork now."
Without Chark, the Jaguars should feature a heavy dose of rookie Laviska Shenault. He's accumulated 72 yards and a touchdown on six receptions, along with 47 yards on seven rushes through the first two weeks.
Dede Westbrook could also be featured for the first time of the season tonight, after having been on the inactive list for the first two weeks.
Kicker Josh Lambo has also been ruled out for tonight's matchup with a hip injury landing him on injured reserve. Rookie Brandon Wright was activated to the active roster and will serve as the placekicker for tonight's game. Marrone told reporters Wright can also handle kickoffs and even punts if needed.
Center Brandon Linder will not play tonight with a knee injury. Marrone has been adamant however that Linder will not be placed on Reserve/IR, since that would require him to miss at least three games. Veteran Tyler Shatley will start in his place.
The Jaguars kickoff against the Miami Dolphins at 8:20 p.m. Eastern on NFL Network.