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Time for a shutdown? Five Jaguars could use a break

Posted: December 17, 2013 - 12:39am  |  Updated: December 17, 2013 - 11:05am
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Cecil Shorts  Associated Press
Associated Press
Cecil Shorts


When: 1 p.m. Sunday.

Where: EverBank Field.

TV/Radio: CBS/WOKV (690 AM, 104.5 FM).

Records: Titans 5-9, Jaguars 4-10.

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The Jaguars have long ago stopped dancing with league infamy, have doubled last year’s win total and are guaranteed to avoid a repeat solo last-place finish in the AFC South.

That’s why the Jaguars should shut down receiver Cecil Shorts (groin), running back Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring), safety Johnathan Cyprien (thigh), linebacker Geno Hayes (knee) and defensive tackle Roy Miller (shoulder).

Shorts, Jones-Drew and Cyprien missed Sunday’s loss to Buffalo, Miller barely practices and Hayes left the Bills game twice only to return.

But all five have played through injuries for most of the year and want to finish what they started the last week of July.

“If they’re healthy enough to play, those guys want to play and do everything they can to help the team win,” linebacker Paul Posluszny said.

The do-they-or-don’t-they debate was front and center for coach Gus Bradley on Monday.

Bradley doesn’t want a player who is already banged up to injure themselves worse during the last two games, thus delaying their 2014 preparation.

“We don’t want that with anybody,” he said. “That’s why we have to make sure.

“We want to make sure the guys out there are healthy and can’t do any more damage.”

It’s a case by case deal for Bradley and general manager Dave Caldwell:


When he was injured: Shorts first appeared on the Jaguars’ injury report with a shoulder problem in the Week 6 loss at Denver. But for the last month, he has nursed a groin injury that has limited his practice time.

Games missed (snaps played this year): One (749).

Pluses to playing: He has an outside shot at 1,000 yards (he’s at 777) and the Jaguars are already without Justin Blackmon (suspension), Stephen Burton (concussion) and Stephen Williams (Achilles’).

Minuses to playing: Shorts already knows he’ll need surgery after the season and if he tears the muscle off the bone, he faces a more extensive rehabilitation.

Verdict: Bradley and Shorts sounded resigned on Monday to the fact the receiver’s season is over.

“That’s probably the best thing for it, honestly,” Shorts said.

Said Bradley: “The more you’re around him, you can sense when it’s really bothering him and I think he’s at that point now.”


When he was injured: He sustained a hamstring injury late in the Week 14 win over Houston. He sprained his ankle in Week 2 at Oakland and has also been listed on the injury report with a knee problem.

Games missed (snaps played this year): One (572).

Pluses to playing: An unrestricted free agent after the season, Jones-Drew would like to play out the year and not be shut down so he can show the league he has plenty of fuel in the tank. At 719 rushing yards, he can also finish in the top 20 in that category.

Minuses to playing: It’s obvious — he pushes the hamstring injury and hurts it more seriously, which would be a big negative entering free agency.

Verdict: Bradley said Jones-Drew “is making progress,” but wouldn’t commit to him practicing on Wednesday. The guess is Jones-Drew will lobby to stick it out, even if it means playing only in the last game.


When he was injured: Who knows. Cyprien reported the thigh problem during last Wednesday’s practice.

Games missed (snaps played this year): One (901).

Pluses to playing: As a rookie, even though he had played every defensive snap during the first 13 games, Cyprien would benefit from getting another 120 or so reps in the final two games.

Minuses to playing: Like all of the cases, he gets more seriously injured.

Verdict: Cyprien wants to practice on Wednesday and play Sunday against Tennessee and that would be a sign he think he’ll be ready for Tennessee.

“I would be disappointed, definitely [if he was shelved],” Cyprien said. “But I would understand it completely because of the situation.

“You’re only guaranteed 16 opportunities during the season and for me to miss out on some of those isn’t too good. I’m trying to get back healthy.”


When he was injured: He sustained a knee injury in the Week 11 loss to Arizona and his practice time has been managed ever since — his last full practice was Nov. 13.

Games missed (snaps played this year): None (920).

Pluses to playing: Hayes, who has one interception in the last two games, is playing on a one-year deal so he wants to finish out strong.

Minuses to playing: Hayes’ season has already been a success — he came to the Jaguars intent on re-establishing himself as a starting outside linebacker in the league.

Verdict: Hayes showed supreme toughness against the Bills, first limping off the field and then getting help off the field only to return after being examined and taking a stationary bike spin. He should be ready to go.


When he was injured: Miller has been listed on every Jaguars injury report this year because of knee, elbow and shoulder problems. The shoulder issue cropped up in mid-October and Miller opted to delay surgery until after the season.

Games missed (snaps played this year): None (575).

Pluses to playing: The Jaguars’ rush defense would be in trouble – and they’re third-to-last as it is — without Miller taking up space in the middle.

Minuses to playing: Miller playing is delaying surgery and the start of a rehabilitation program.

Verdict: Miller belongs on Team Suck It Up. He will keep playing.

“He is one tough son of a guy with what he’s going through and to fight through it,” Bradley said. “His biggest concern is, ‘Am I hurting the team?’ We felt he played pretty good [Sunday] considering his shoulder and we appreciate him.”

Ryan O’Halloran: (904) 359-4401

Comments (2)

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Lake11 12/17/13 - 08:38 pm
Premium Member

If Shorts isn't 100% by

If Shorts isn't 100% by training camp, heads should roll. It's insane he hasn't had the surgery yet. If MJD isn't 100 % by training camp heads should roll. The only thing we have left to play for is a draft spot. So how is any of this even debatable?

ajagsfan 12/18/13 - 11:28 am
Premium Member

I agree with the article.

I agree with the article. Bench them. Give the second/third stringers and practice squad guys a chance. See what they can do. It'll help us evaluate our depth and will allow us to draft better.

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