Jags’ Lee eager for start, chance to market ‘albino tiger’
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jacksonville Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee has plans for his nickname ''albino tiger.''
''We're going to market that,'' he said Wednesday.
Lee already has spoken to his agent about it as well as offensive coordinator Greg Olson, who gave Lee the moniker and the go-ahead to run with it.
A breakout game at Tennessee surely would help. With Allen Hurns in the NFL's concussion program and uncertain to play against the Titans (2-9) on Sunday, Lee is expected to get his first start of the season.
Unleash the albino tiger? Uncage the albino tiger? The Jaguars (4-7) will be content just seeing the former second-round draft pick from USC on the field and in the mix.
''He's been wanting that,'' quarterback Blake Bortles said. ''I think he's been looking forward to this opportunity for a long time, so I'm excited for him. … I know Marqise is excited for this opportunity because he's going to get a chance to get some more reps and some more targets and stuff like that.''
Lee has spent more time on the sideline than in the huddle in 2015, missing six games because of a nagging right hamstring injury.
It was the latest setback in his two years in Jacksonville. He has missed significant chunks of time with ankle, hamstring and knee injuries. He missed three games last season after injuring his right hamstring in practice and then spent another six weeks getting back to full speed.
He finished his rookie year with 37 catches for 422 yards and a touchdown.
But Lee was back on the sideline with a knee injury when the team began organized team activities in May. He was healthy for the start training camp, but was on the field just three days before ending up in the training room again.
Lee has maintained a positive attitude through his latest woes.
''Last year I was stressed out numerous amounts of times, mainly because of not knowing how to get over it or going through the things to help me get over certain things,'' he said. ''This year, it's way different. … The right word for it is acceptance. It's accepting the facts and understanding the injuries you have in general, something that you can't control.''
He also has accepted his nickname, which Olson gave him in the preseason after months of missed practices.
''To me, he's like the albino tiger at the zoo,'' Olson said in late August. ''If you get there and you're lucky enough to get him to come out of the cave and see him, it's a good day.''
Lee has five catches for 51 yards in five games this season, and three carries for 25 yards. He's the fastest receiver on the team and capable of big plays. But since he's gotten healthy, he's been behind Hurns on the depth chart.
That could change this week. And maybe the ''albino tiger'' will be as elusive on the field as he was for Olson so often during practice this year. It might even help his marketing efforts.
''Let's get him on the field,'' Olson said. ''That would be good. We'll get him on the field and get him playing. That would help him, no question.''
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