The positive signs for D.J. Chark Thursday morning soured by the afternoon.
The Jacksonville Jaguars downgraded the wideout to out for Thursday night’s tilt versus the Miami Dolphins due to chest and back injuries, the team announced.
There was some optimism Chark could play after being designated as questionable, but the Jags will play it safe with their top receiver. With Gardner Minshew spreading the ball around, Chark earned 109 yards on seven catches on seven targets with a TD through two games this season.
The Dolphins defense, which has given up a bevy of big plays through two weeks, won’t have top corner Byron Jones, which should help open things up for Chark’s teammates.
Keelan Cole, Jacksonville’s top targeted player through two weeks, should see a bump in targets. Rookie Laviska Shenault Jr. has been an intriguing do-it-all player for Jacksonville, earning touches from the backfield, slot, and out wide. The dynamic first-year player should see his role expand sans Chark in the lineup.
The Jags relied heavily on young players in Weeks 1 and 2. With Chark out, they’ll lean on youth even more Thursday night versus Miami.
Thursday Night Football showcases the Miami Dolphins at Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 3. Kickoff is at 8:20 p.m. ET only on NFL Network.
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