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Jaguars WR Justin Blackmon will have to step up

The Jacksonville Jaguars will likely be without Cecil Shorts on Sunday, so rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon will need to step up.

Sam Greenwood

The Jacksonville Jaguars could be without their most productive wide receiver on Sunday, as Cecil Shorts III missed his second consecutive day of practice, still suffering from concussion related issues. Shorts leads the team in receptions, yards, touchdowns, and is really the only team's deep threat in the receiver group.

Without Shorts on the field, it's going to put added pressure on rookie wide receiver Justin Blackmon, who's averaging just under 50 yards per game receiving. The receivers the Jaguars will be trotting out alongside Blackmon are largely going to be unproven players and/or journeymen.

It's also likely that the New York Jets are going to stick Antonio Cromartie on Blackmon for much of the day to try to shut him down. With Darrell Revis out, Cromartie has been by far the Jets best defensive back and is having a fantastic season so far. It's unlikely Blackmon will be able to get downfield on Cromartie, but the Jaguars can take advantage of Cromarties weakness by forcing him to play laterally against Blackmon, working crossers and slant routes.

The Jets will know the Jaguars won't be able to challenge deep and will likely squat on the shorter routes and dare the team to throw down the field. If Blackmon can start to eat up plays over the middle, it could open things up for guys like Marcedes Lewis and some of the other receivers.