The Jaguars will likely get a boost to their receiving corp this week as receiver DJ Chark Jr. is expected to play after being listed as questionable due to a left ankle injury.
Chark Jr. suffered the left ankle injury in the team’s week 14 matchup against the Los Angeles Chargers, and according to head coach Doug Marrone he is expected to suit up, barring a setback, even with his questionable designation.
“He was limited today, but he didn’t miss that much,” Marrone said on Friday on Chark Jr.’s workload in practice today. “So he’s done a great job. When you’re having a type of season like this, he’s a guy that as soon as he was injured was like, ‘I’m going to play. I’m going to be back next week,’ which he wasn’t. But, the attitude, that’s what you want to see.”
Chark Jr. wanted to suit up against the Raiders last week, if only for the historical implications of the game being the last one in Oakland forever.
“That was tough, you know, definitely not being there,” Chark Jr. said shortly after practice on Friday. “I love playing in games where it’s like super sunny, and it looked perfect out there. All the historic background behind that game, I really, really wanted to play. But you know I couldn’t.”
It was the first game the former LSU Tiger has missed this season. While he is not 100% just yet, Chark Jr. did say he felt good today, and is hopeful to return to action with his teammates, noting that sometimes “you have to play with pain.”
“The training staff has been there with me every step of the way. We’ve been taking it slowly. We still have got where we wanted to be yet — or I’m not where I want to be at —, but pretty close getting there.”
Over the course of his short NFL, and collegiate career Chark Jr. has never eclipsed 1,000 yards in a single season. This year the second-year receiver is only 44 yards short of achieving that goal. Marrone had not realized Chark Jr. had not yet eclipsed 1,000 yards in college or the pros, but said in a disappointing season it is good to see individuals attain their goals.
“So he’s worked extremely hard to be in the position he’s in,” Marrone added. “We obviously know he’s talented, and he’s a player that I believe is just going to continue to get better, so if that was one of goals, and probably it is, then hey listen, that would be great.”
Chark Jr. says never being in a pass-heavy offense, getting to 1,000 yards is something he has never had the opportunity to achieve. Now at 956 yards on the year, the goal is right at his finger tips, a special year individually.
“To get to this point where I’m at now, you know, I’m happy, ecstatic,” said Chark Jr. “That would just be the cherry on top.”