It's safe to say the Jacksonville Jaguars are loaded at the wide receiver position with youth and potential, with proven playmakers in Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns. There is one other receiver who should be in that conversation though that's been an afterthought, mostly because he's been constantly injured, in Marqise Lee.
It appeared like it would be another season like that for Lee, who was injured at the very start of training and camp missed nearly a full week. He was able to come back for the preseason though and has looked good through the first few games, making some circus catches and showing off his speed and run after catch ability.
"I am excited for him [Lee]. When he puts practices and stacks them up back to back, you can see his confidence grow," Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley said about Lee when asked if he's excited for the young receiver. "The challenge for him is to be positive about it and not be all full of stress and anxiety about what is going on. ‘Just appreciate what you are doing now, and you are kind of stacking these practices up.' He is communicating very well to us. I think he is really identifying when it is painful and when it is leading to a possible injury. He is trying to figure that out. Overall, I think he feels pretty good now- he feels pretty good. Just to continue to play and stack up these practices and games."
It's been easy to write Lee off because of the success of the Allens, but we probably should remember that Lee was considered a first round talent at the position and was a highly productive playmaker at USC prior to injuring his knee his final season, and even then when he was on the field he was putting up big time production.
You have to give props to Lee however, as he's taken the frustrating career path in the NFL right on the chin and faced the music. He's worked hard and always spoke with the media frankly about his injuries and how it's been tough for him. The team has been cautious with Lee as well, trying to limit him so he doesn't worsen some of the minor soft tissue injuries he's had, but so far so good in the preseason.
While it's been easy to forget Lee from a fan's perspective, perhaps the productivity of Robinson and Hurns will make it easier for Lee to work his way back into the lineup, because he's an added bonus at this point, rather than someone the team has to lean on. If Lee can stay healthy this season, he brings a different dimension to the offense and that's definitely worth getting excited about.