The Jacksonville Jaguars‚Äô offense is loaded with talent. From third-year quarterback Blake Bortles, the talented tandem of Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns in the receiving corps, the running back duo of Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon, to tight end Julius Thomas, the Jaguars have a plethora¬†of star power on offense. And wide receiver Marqise Lee has the potential to throw his name into that group of proven skill position players as well.
Unfortunately for Lee, injuries have held him back from realizing his potential. And that troubling trend is continuing early into training camp.
Lee was healthy for all of one day of Jacksonville‚Äôs training camp this year. Then on Friday, Lee was held out of practice after sustaining a hamstring injury on just the second day of training camp. This after missing nine of a possible 32 games in his first two seasons in the NFL because of injuries.
As a rookie, Lee played in 13 games and put up promising numbers, catching 37 passes for 422 yards and a score. But his second season in the league saw him take several steps back and that was mostly due to injury. He caught only 15 passes for 191 yards and a touchdown in 10 games last season and fell well behind not only Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, but also Bryan Walters and possibly even rookie Rashad Greene this year.
Lee has been labeled as a potential breakout player for the Jaguars in 2016. But his constant injury issues are going to prevent him from being that this year.
Last summer, Lee missed significant time during Jacksonville‚Äôs various practices that offensive coordinator Greg Olson likened him to an albino tiger at the zoo, saying, “If you get there and you‚Äôre lucky enough to get him to come out of the cave and see him, it‚Äôs a good day.” Lee took that criticism to heart, but now he‚Äôs on the sideline once again.
“It was very disappointing,” Lee stated after Friday‚Äôs practice. “You never want to sit out. But it‚Äôs nothing crazy. That‚Äôs the biggest thing. I felt a little (hamstring) fatigue and they decided to shut me down.”
While Lee‚Äôs injury may not be serious at the moment, the fact that he‚Äôs already getting hurt enough that coaches are taking precautionary measures to prevent further damage is troubling. He has a history of battling hamstring, knee and ankle injuries in his short time in the league and even “a little hamstring fatigue,” as Lee put it, is concerning.
The Jaguars are going to have to dish out money to their young core of offensive talent here in the next few seasons. Quarterback Blake Bortles and receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns will all warrant large contracts and with players like Julius Thomas already getting paid large sums of money, Jacksonville will have to trim the fat wherever necessary. And that could spell doom for Lee if he can‚Äôt stay healthy enough to put up solid numbers in 2016.
Marqise Lee has all the potential in the world. He has the build you want in an NFL slot receiver and he‚Äôs flashed his play-making ability on more than one occasion when he‚Äôs been healthy.
But unless Lee can avoid nagging injuries this season, he won‚Äôt have the breakout campaign many are hoping to see from him.