Jaguars make a handful of roster moves: Westbrook, Pryor taken off IR, former draft pick waived

Jaguars offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett discusses Allen Hurns' impact

The Jaguars made several roster moves Saturday ahead of their Week 11 clash with the Cleveland Browns.

The team activated wide receiver Dede Westbrook (core) and safety Calvin Pryor (ankle) off injured reserve and elevated wide receiver Larry Pinkard from the practice squad.

In order to make room for the new active trio, the Jaguars waived defensive tackle Sheldon Day and wide receiver Jaelen Strong and placed fellow wide receiver Arrelious Benn (knee) on injured reserve.

Westbrook (6-0, 179 lbs.) is likely to have the biggest role of the three new additions to the 53-man roster.

The fourth-round pick missed the team's first nine games of the season after undergoing core muscle surgery. Westbrook was placed on injured reserve following final cuts in September.

Westbrook had a standout preseason, despite only playing in three exhibition games. The rookie caught 13 passes for 288 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

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His return to the lineup will help fill the void left by injured wide receiver Allen Hurns. The veteran playmaker suffered an ankle injury in Week 10 against the Los Angeles Chargers and was ruled out for the game against Cleveland.

Westbrook has deep threat speed. He made several catches of 20 or more yards during the preseason.

The rookie has high expectations for his NFL debut.

“I always set the standard high for myself," Westbrook said during an interview with the Teal & Black Blitz on Wednesday.

"For me, and this has nothing to do with the Cleveland Browns at all, but my expectation is a 200-yard receiving game."

Pryor (5-11, 207 lbs.) was claimed off waivers by the Jaguars during Week 1. However, he was placed on injured reserve with an ankle injury shortly after he joined the team.

A former first-round pick, Pryor has plenty of experience. He started 38 games while with the New York Jets from 2014-16.

Pryor will serve in a backup role behind starters, Tashaun Gipson and Barry Church, if he is active Sunday. 

Pinkard (6-0, 196 lbs.) played his college football at Old Dominion. The 25-year-old has yet to play in an NFL regular season game.

He caught six passes for 61 yards in four preseason games for the Jaguars earlier this year.

Pinkard joins an inexperienced wide receiver crew this weekend. Marqise Lee will be the only active Jaguars wide receiver with more than nine games of regular season experience.

Pinkard, Westbrook and Lee will be joined by rookie Keelan Cole and Jaydon Mickens on the active game day roster Sunday against the Browns.

The departure of Day may come as a surprise to some. A fourth-round pick in last year's draft, Day has played in 22 games for the Jaguars and produced 11 tackles and two sacks during his time in Jacksonville. 

His roster spot became expendable following the trade acquisition of former All-Pro defensive tackle Marcell Dareus. The veteran lineman has served as the backup nose tackle to Abry Jones and the backup three-technique to Malik Jackson. The dual role has forced younger players like Day and Eli Ankou to the sideline.

Day may receive interest on the waiver wire due to his ability to pass rush from the inside. He has shown flashes over the last two seasons and was very productive during his college career at Notre Dame.

Strong was claimed off waivers by the Jaguars on Sept. 19. He suffered a hamstring injury during his first practice in Jacksonville and took a few weeks to recover. Even after he was given a clean bill of health, Strong remained on the inactive list for the remainder of his tenure. 

Strong never played in a game for the Jaguars. His lack of special teams prowess was part of the reason he was never able to make it to the active game day roster.

Benn was the Jaguars' special teams captain this season. He produced three tackles in the game's third phase and caught one pass for 12 yards. 

The veteran suffered a knee injury in the first half of the Jaguars' Week 10 win over the Chargers.

Now on injured reserve, Benn's season is over. He played in nine games this season for the Jaguars.

Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.

Listen to "Teal & Black Blitz with Mike Kaye and Mike DiRocco (Podcast) 11-15" on Spreaker.

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