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Tuesday, October 12, 2010
AFC South High Energy Player of the Week

By Paul Kuharsky

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A look at a player who gave his team a significant boost in Week 5.

Karim
Jacksonville's Deji Karim had 145 kick return yards Sunday against Buffalo.
Beyond Maurice Jones-Drew, the Jaguars are far from loaded with skill players. But rookie Deji Karim's eye-opening performance in his first NFL game last Sunday certainly suggests he can be one.

A sixth-round pick out of Southern Illinois, he’s a 5-foot-8, 209-pounder who showed smooth acceleration as well as nice vision, patience and balance both as a kick returner and a running back.

He didn’t play in the first month because of a thumb injury. But he gave the Jaguars a big boost Sunday in Buffalo with four kick returns for 145 yards and 15 carries for 70 yards, most of which came after Jones-Drew hurt his wrist.

“He showed some juice in the return game and got some touches as a running back and did a nice job,” Jaguars coach Jack Del Rio said.

We need to see more in the run game, as the Bills are the league’s worst run defense.

It’s easier to say the kickoff return game is legit and it will be very interesting to see him going forward.

Karim’s 51-yard return to start the third quarter launched a touchdown drive that moved Jacksonville ahead 20-13 and his 41-yarder a bit later helped ignite another touchdown drive that made it 27-20. The Jaguars never trailed after that.