Cecil Shorts: Why Jaguars Should Sit WR for the Remainder of the 2012 Season

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Cecil Shorts: Why Jaguars Should Sit WR for the Remainder of the 2012 Season
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images
Cecil Shorts, of Mount Union College, is Jacksonville's most explosive receiver.

The Jacksonville Jaguars should not risk playing receiver Cecil Shorts for the rest of the regular season.

For one, according to the Associated Press via ESPN.com last week:

The Jaguars have ruled wide receiver Cecil Shorts out for Sunday's game against the New York Jets due to concussion symptoms.

Shorts passed his concussion test earlier in the week but he has exhibited concussion symptoms and has not practiced all week.

Secondly, the Jaguars sit with a dismal 2-11 record, and are in a race with the Kansas City Chiefs for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft. It's not so much that Jacksonville should just give up, but there's not even a spoiler role worth playing for over the next few weeks.

Sure, the Jaguars face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots, but the AFC East has already been clinched. On account of how strict the NFL has become regarding concussions, the last thing Jacksonville needs is to put its best receiver in a concerning situation.

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Now yes, Shorts' absence on Sunday reflects a porous performance from quarterback Chad Henne.

After all, Henne went a mere 21-of-43 for only 185 yards, and had two picks against the New York Jets.

Clearly, Shorts would have an impact in the upcoming contest because he averages 19.2 yards per reception, and leads the team with 824 receiving yards and seven scores.

That said, what good comes from playing Shorts given the potential of his condition?


Just take a look at the Philadelphia Eagles right now. Michael Vick and LeSean McCoy haven't played since mid-November. In an article by Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer from last week:

Another week has passed, and the news about the concussion recoveries of Eagles quarterback Michael Vick and running back LeSean McCoy still is not positive. Vick will miss his fourth game and McCoy his third because lingering issues have yet to subside.

Jacksonville, however, fields an offense with better potential than given credit.

When Henne got under center against the Houston Texans, his presence clearly improved the Jags and made everyone around him better. Shorts is a big part of that.

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Still, the future becomes a concern if Shorts is put at risk with nothing on the line. The Jaguars are better-positioned than at first glance for next season; ensuring they stay that way requires safer play for the remainder of 2012.

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