Monday, December 16, 2013
Shutting Shorts down right thing to do
By Michael DiRocco
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It appears that receiver Cecil Shorts has played his last snap this season.
Coach Gus Bradley said Monday afternoon that he and general manager David Caldwell are considering shutting down the third-year receiver for the final two weeks of the season because of a groin injury that isn’t healing.
Bradley said the three will meet to discuss the situation and it will be a day or two before a final determination is made, but all indications are that Shorts’ season is done.
"I think we have more concern with the injury now, and that’s what Dave and I and Cecil will talk about," Bradley said. "When he talks to us as coaches and really what he’s feeling, I think we’re starting to figure out he’s such a strong competitor, he wants to play and he wants to do it, but I think the longer we’re around him you can sense maybe when it’s really bothering him, and I think he’s at that point right now."
Cecil Shorts has battled a groin injury this season, and is expecting to have offseason surgery.
It’s clearly the right move. The Jaguars (4-10) aren’t in a playoff chase, and sitting Shorts will give the coaching staff a better chance to evaluate receivers Mike Brown, Ace Sanders, Jeremy Ebert, and Kerry Taylor. It also will give Shorts a head start on his recovery. He said last week that the injury would require offseason surgery, which he could have now instead of next month.
Shorts said he didn’t want to reveal too much about his condition or status, but admitted that not playing again this season is the wisest choice.
"We have an idea what we’re going to do," Shorts said. "I just don’t want to speak on it right now, but that’s probably the best thing for it, honestly."
Shorts has been battling a groin injury for much of the season, and has managed it by not practicing on Wednesdays and being limited on Thursdays. That schedule was thrown off when the Jaguars played Houston on Thursday, Dec. 5, and that wasn't sufficient time to rest his groin from the previous Sunday's game against Cleveland.
He practiced on a limited basis on Friday and said he knew then that he wouldn’t be able to play in Sunday’s game against Buffalo, which the Jaguars lost 27-20.
"It wasn’t good Friday," Shorts said. "I think I lasted four or five plays. I didn’t feel any power or explosiveness in there. It was very tough to do anything, and there was a lot of pain, a whole lot of pain."
Shorts leads the Jaguars in receptions (66) and receiving yards (777) but he’s not going to have a chance to reach the coveted 1,000-yard mark. He fell 21 yards shy last season. Not playing, though, is what’s bothering him the most, but he’s not going to dwell on that.
"It’s frustrating, but me being frustrated and down and everything is not going to change anything, so I might as well stay upbeat and just be there for the team however way I can," Shorts said. "If that’s competing on the sideline or whatever I have to do so I can stay in the game, that’s it. So it is frustrating, but you’re not going to see me down. Coach Gus talked to me last week about 'it’s okay to be frustrated, but you can’t be down about it. Eventually rise from it and get back positive,' and that’s what I’m trying to do, stay positive."