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Jaguars dealing with injuries to offensive stars

The Jacksonville Jaguars are trying to get out of their perennial doldrums, but things aren’t going well in recent days. While the Jaguars beat the New England Patriots on Thursday night at Gillette Stadium, the storm clouds are starting to circle in the form of injuries.

On Sunday morning, the team went into a training camp practice feeling relatively good, and ended up watching wide receiver Marqise Lee leave the field with his right leg in an air cast after a non-contact injury. The extent of the injury is unknown, although the usage of an air cast is always a troubling sign.

“I know they were touching around in the lower part of him but you’re really not going to get anything until the doctor sees him,” head coach Doug Marrone said, per ESPN.

Lee has really come along throughout his career, notching personal bests with 63 catches, 851 yards and three touchdowns last year. Without Lee, the Jaguars would be down to Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns, both capable players. Still, depth would be tested without Lee, a fourth-year player who appeared to be on the brink of stardom.

UPDATE: Jacksonville appears to have dodged a significant bullet with Lee, who isn’t believed the have sustained a serious injury.

Then there is the absence of Leonard Fournette, who was held out of Sunday’s action with a foot injury. Marrone was not overly-nervous about the ailment, but any time a running back has issues with his knees or feet, it’s cause for concern. Fournette looked decent in the win over New England, rushing for 31 yards on nine attempts.

Frankly, none of it truly matters if Blake Bortles can’t play better. Earlier in the summer, Bortles famously threw five interceptions during a team practice, something of major alarm considering he has thrown more interceptions than any other quarterback since he career began three years ago.

The other question is the offensive line, which has been in flux for years. However, there was a real positive development with rookie Cam Robinson, who looked terrific in his NFL debut earlier this week. Robinson, who was originally slated to play right tackle before Branden Albert retired (and then came back, only to be released), has looked good on the blindside.

If Robinson clean help keep Bortles clean, the Jaguars are already in much better shape than a year ago, provided Lee and Fournette can contribute. Those factors would also allow Marrone and general manager David Caldwell to get a real honest look at Bortles. It would be surprising if he turns into a true franchise quarterback, but decent protection and a real running game gives him no excuse to underwhelm.

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