DJ Chark Had Surgery for Finger Injury, Expected to Be Ready for Jaguars Opener

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVAugust 8, 2021

Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer, left, talks with wide receiver D.J. Chark (17) during NFL football practice, Saturday, July 31, 2021, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
AP Photo/John Raoux

Jacksonville Jaguars receiver DJ Chark Jr. had surgery this week to repair a hairline fracture in his finger, head coach Urban Meyer said Sunday.

The wideout is still expected to be ready for Week 1 against the Houston Texans on Sept. 12.

Chark has led the Jaguars in receiving in each of the past two years, finishing 2020 with 706 yards on 53 catches with five touchdowns.

The 24-year-old was even better in 2019, earning a Pro Bowl selection after totaling 73 catches for 1,008 yards and eight scores.

Injuries were an issue for Chark last season, however, as he missed time with chest, rib and ankle issues. Even when on the field, he only had one 100-yard game in 13 appearances.

The 2018 second-round pick will hope the latest finger injury won't hold him back more in 2021, especially in the final year of his contract.

Jacksonville added veterans Marvin Jones Jr. and Phillip Dorsett II in free agency and are expecting big things from Laviska Shenault Jr. in his second season, which will help replace Chark until the starter is back to full strength. Rookie running back Travis Etienne Jr. could also have a significant role in the passing attack.

It gives No. 1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence plenty of weapons heading into his first season in the NFL, even if Chark remains unavailable.