The Jaguars used a new punt returner during their Week 5 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers. First-year wide receiver Max McCaffrey fair caught his lone fielded punt on Sunday.
The Jaguars had previously used veteran wide receiver Marqise Lee at the punt return position. Lee suffered a ribs injury in Week 4, which led to a decreased role for the former second-round pick against the Steelers.
McCaffrey signed with the Jaguars in Week 2 after Pro Bowl wide receiver Allen Robinson was placed on injured reserve with an ACL injury. Since joining the team, McCaffrey has played sporadically on offense and special teams while learning the playbook.
The opportunity to return punts will allow him to be featured more in the gameplan. While he has some preseason experience at the position, he's still getting used to fielding punts.
"I'm still new to it," McCaffrey said. "Still trying to figure out how to do it. It was nice to get in [against Pittsburgh]. I got in a bunch in the preseason. I've been doing it for the last year or so."
McCaffrey has bounced around the league since going undrafted in 2016. The Duke alum played for the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers before joining the Jaguars.
McCaffrey has NFL bloodline. He is the older brother of Carolina Panthers first-round pick Christian McCaffrey and is the son of former Denver Broncos wide receiver Ed McCaffrey.
On Sunday against the Steelers, he became the third member of the McCaffrey family to catch a pass in the NFL. The four-yard reception was the first of his career.
"It was nice," McCaffrey said. "I wasn't here throughout training camp or anything, so everything is pretty brand new to me. I've only been here for four weeks now and so it's definitely coming to me now. I'm getting in that flow and hopefully it can keep building, so it's going well."
If the Jaguars continue to lighten Lee's load on special teams, McCaffrey will have more opportunities to touch the ball moving forward. Taking advantage of those plays could lead to a larger role on offense for the 23-year-old.
With few consistent options in the passing game, McCaffrey may be able to establish himself in the receiving rotation and make a mark like his brother and father before him.
Follow Mike Kaye on Twitter at @Mike_E_Kaye.
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