The Jaguars finally received some major production from their wide receiver group in Week 7. Now they are likely to see the return of another receiving weapon when they come back from the bye week.
Rookie wide receiver Dede Westbrook was sensational during the preseason. The Oklahoma alum collected 13 catches for 288 yards and two touchdowns in just three exhibition games.
However, he suffered a core injury in the final preseason game. The ailment required surgery, which led to the Jaguars placing Westbrook on injured reserve.
Westbrook is eligible to return to the active roster in Week 9. While all signs seem to point toward the rookie's return, Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone is taking a cautious approach.
“I think we’d like to get [Westbrook] back, but I’m going to wait until Monday until they prove that they are out there and nothing crazy happens," Marrone said. "I don’t want to give you guys bad information. I’d like to get all those guys out there. We’ll see where [rookie left tackle Cam Robinson] is at, but again Monday can come, and we’re going be like, ‘Well, they need to rest’ and then I’m sitting in here and it’s like wait a minute, you said this.”
Westbrook offers a deep-threat ability that has been lacking for the Jaguars' offense. Able to blaze past defensive backs, Westbrook could open up Jacksonville's offense moving forward.
If he can make his debut against the Cincinnati Bengals, he will have nine games to prove his preseason production wasn't a fluke.
Jaguars add LB, drop CB
On the first official day of their bye week, the Jaguars made some roster moves.
The team signed veteran linebacker Jonathan Freeny and waived cornerback Lafayette Pitts.
Freeny worked out for the Jaguars Monday. He has played for the Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens.
Signed by Miami as an undrafted free agent out of Rutgers in 2011, Freeny spent his first four seasons with the Dolphins. Freeny played for New England from 2015-16 and won a Super Bowl with the team last season.
Freeny signed with the Ravens in September after he was released by the Patriots. He played in three games for Baltimore before being released on October 17.
The veteran joins a linebacker group that consists of Telvin Smith, Myles Jack, Paul Posluszny, Donald Payne, Lerentee McCray and Blair Brown.
The Jaguars were able to watch Freeny in practice during training camp joint sessions with the Patriots in August. Freeny has mostly been used as a special teams backup during his career. The 6-foot-2, 255-pound player is likely to be a backup at MIKE linebacker on defense.
Pitts was claimed off waivers following final cuts in September. The second-year player was waived by the Dolphins after spending one season in Miami.
The cornerback appeared in six games for the Jaguars. He was inactive during Week 7's win over the Indianapolis Colts. He produced just one tackle while in Jacksonville.
Pitts will now be subject to waivers.
Jacksonville also released offensive linemen Norman Price from the practice squad.
More News and Notes
- Marrone said left tackle Cam Robinson suffered an ankle sprain in the 27-0 win over the Indianapolis Colts. The head coach refused to clarify what type of ankle sprain Robinson suffered.
- Marrone on backup tackle Josh Wells' performance in relief of Robinson:
“He did a nice job. I think, like anything else, you play that many plays you are going to have some bad plays. For the most part, him being able to get in there and get going, I was happy with the way he was able to step up and do that. Now he’s on tape and we know exactly what he needs to do to get better, and some things he did very well.”
- Jaguars players were in the building Monday and will work Tuesday and Wednesday before leaving for time off during the bye week.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.