The Jaguars came up short in Sunday’s 31-25 loss to the San Diego Chargers, but tight end Julius Thomas provided reason for optimism, playing his best game of the season.
Thomas, Jacksonville’s prize free-agent signing last March, caught nine passes for 116 yards and a touchdown in the loss. This, after entering the game with just 20 receptions for 167 yard and one score through his first six games.
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The two-time Pro Bowler missed the first four games of the year after having surgery in the preseason to repair a broken bone in his hand. He struggled to make an impact in the Jaguars’ offense after returning to the lineup.
"You play this game for a long time and you can’t always expect it to go smoothly and be exactly how you want it to be,’’ Thomas said, per Vito Stellino of the Florida Times-Union. “I had to deal with a lot this year. A lot of change for me. I’m just happy to be playing football with these guys, looking to get better.’’
Thomas caught a 21-yard touchdown from quarterback Blake Bortles in the fourth quarter as part of his nine-catch effort.
“I’m not going to lie and say I don’t enjoy a nine-catch game,’’ Thomas said. “I play the game to make plays. Everybody here does. It’s gratifying to make plays, but the team takes the field to win.’’