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Jaguars receiver DJ Chark Jr. ruled out for tonight’s game vs. Dolphins

The Jaguars will be without one of their star players for tonight’s matchup against the Miami Dolphins

NFL: Indianapolis Colts at Jacksonville Jaguars Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Moments ago, the Jaguars announced that they have ruled out wide receiver DJ Chark Jr. for tonight’s matchup against the Miami Dolphins on Thursday Night Football.

Chark has been dealing with a chest/back injury since last week’s game against the Tennessee Titans and will not be available given the short week the team had. Chark did not practice all week, however, he was listed as questionable coming into today.

According to head coach Doug Marrone, Chark was injured during the game against Tennessee, particularly when he went up to grab a long 45-yard reception from quarterback Gardner Minshew II in the first quarter. The Jaguars are being “careful” with Chark this week as a result.

While Chark has not received as many targets as he has in the past, he still leads all Jaguars receivers in receiving yards with 109. Chark’s absence will put more pressure on receiver Keelan Cole, who currently leads the team in receptions with 15, and rookie receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., who has become an offensive weapon for the team through two weeks.

With Chark being ruled out, fourth-year receiver Dede Westbrook will likely be active for the first time this season. The Jaguars have yet to activate him as he was dealing with a shoulder injury towards the end of camp, and has yet to crack the line up with two rookies, Shenault and receiver Collin Johnson ahead of him.

Westbrook could add to the team’s return-game as well if he is active tonight as rookie cornerback Chris Claybrooks struggled last week in that department.

The Jaguars will announce full inactives about 90 minutes prior to kick off. It is already expected that center Brandon Linder (knee) will not go tonight, Tyler Shatley will take his place. Kicker Josh Lambo will also be out tonight as he was placed on the team’s reserve/injured list earlier this week. Rookie kicker Brandon Wright will take his place.