Jaguars rookie Laviska Shenault has opportunity to shine with DJ Chark out vs. Dolphins

The Jaguars will be without wide receiver DJ Chark on Thursday.

The Jacksonville Jaguars were projected to be a terrible team by many analysts this season. The team responded by getting off to a 1-1 start and nearly took down the Tennessee Titans in Week 2.

The Jaguars have a quick turnaround with a winnable game Thursday night against the Miami Dolphins. The only problem is they will be without top receiver DJ Chark, who was downgraded to “out” Thursday afternoon.

With Chark out vs. the Miami Dolphins, rookie receiver Laviska Shenault has a big opportunity to impress with increased playing time

Chark is dealing with a chest injury and the short week did not help his chances of playing. Giving him the night off means he will get two full weeks of recovery ahead of Week 4.

Losing Chark does not help the Jaguars offense, but it also doesn’t doom Gardner Minshew‘s chances of success. The second-year quarterback has spread the targets around to Keelan Cole, Laviska Shenault, Chris Conley, and Tyler Eifert. Five players, including Chark, have receiving touchdowns and Cole leads the team with 11 receptions.

The offense has been running smoothly through two games and Chark’s absence comes on a night when the Dolphins will be without top defensive back Byron Jones. This could lead to a breakout night for someone like Shenault, who is also second on the team in rushing this year.

The Jaguars enter this game as betting favorites and Chark’s absence won’t change that. Jones being out opens up the Dolphins defense that has already allowed 52 points this season.

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Jacksonville is not a pushover this season and a win Thursday night to get to 2-1 would make the team a favorite once again in Week 4 against the Cincinnati Bengals. That is especially true if Chark rests up and is ready to go against the Bengals, which appears to be likely given the latest updates on his injury.

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