JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Cecil Shorts’ best season as an NFL receiver could be coming to a premature end.
The Jacksonville Jaguars’ third-year pro has been hampered with a groin injury for much of the season. He played through the pain and had started the first 13 games, but in Sunday’s game against Buffalo, was listed as an inactive.
On Monday, Shorts said the smartest thing to do was to shut it down for this year and look ahead to next season.
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“Probably,” Shorts said with a laugh. “That’s the best thing. We have an idea of what we’re going to do. I don’t want to speak on it right now, but that’s probably the best thing for it honestly.
“I’m just trying to stay positive. If the decision is made when we talk about it, that I’m done for the year, then that’s the case.”
Shorts was unable to practice much Friday. He said he ran four or five plays and it wasn’t good. He later confirmed that he would need surgery to repair the injured area.
“I didn’t feel any power or explosiveness in there. It was very tough to do anything and there was a whole lot of pain,” he said. “I knew then that I couldn’t play on Sunday.”
On Monday, Jaguars coach Gus Bradley stopped short of saying the team would place Shorts on injured reserve, have the surgery and get an early start on the rehab process.
“Cecil is not improving,” Bradley said. General manager “Dave (Caldwell) and I will sit down and discuss this with Cecil later on today or tomorrow where he’s at.
“I think we have more concern with the injury now. When Cecil talks to us as coaches and what he’s feeling, he’s such a strong competitor and wants to play, but the longer we’re around him, you can sense when it’s really bothering him. And I think he’s at that point right now.”
Shorts has caught a career-best 66 passes this season, surpassing his previous best of 55 a year ago. He has 777 yards, behind only the 971 yards he had last year.
He was one of four Jaguars starters who missed Sunday’s game with the Bills. Leading rusher Maurice Jones-Drew (hamstring), offensive guard Will Rackley (concussion) and strong safety Johnathan Cyprien were also on the inactive list for the Buffalo game.
Bradley indicated that all three would be evaluated on Wednesday to determine their status for the rest of the week and for Sunday’s home season finale against Tennessee.
The injury-plagued Jaguars added two more names to their list from Sunday’s game with Buffalo. Guard Mike Brewster who took Rackley’s place in the lineup, fractured his left ankle and is out for the rest of the season.
In addition, linebacker Russell Allen who has started all but one game this season, suffered a concussion and will now follow NFL concussion protocol.
Bradley lamented the team’s poor play in the second quarter in Sunday’s 27-20 loss to the Bills. He cited the fact that’s when the team gave up 17 of Buffalo’s 27 points, 102 of the Bills’ 198 yards rushing, the Jaguars had nine of their 14 missed tackles and allowed four of their 10 explosive plays.
“A lot of stats like that showed up that (tells us) we did not play very well in the second quarter,” Bradley said. “Now, coming out of it, we tightened up some things starting in the third quarter with better tackling, and we were better with our techniques. They had a combined 58 yards rushing, 70 yards passing and seven points in the third and fourth quarters.”
Offensively, Bradley harped on missed opportunities to score. Rookie running back Denard Robinson fumbled at the goal line just before he was to complete a 25-yard run into the end zone early in the third quarter.
The Jaguars also had a first-and-goal at the 1-yard line with four minutes left in the game and trailing by seven points. But two plays later, Chad Henne threw an interception in the end zone.
Shorts’ groin injury prevented him from playing and could cause him to miss games against Tennessee and Indianapolis.