Ailing Jags starters Robinson, Lee may sit opener

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars may not have two key starters in left tackle Cam Robinson and receiver Marqise Lee back on the field in time for the season opener.

Coach Doug Marrone said Saturday that he had hoped Robinson and Lee would have been able to come off the PUP list this week but haven't made enough progress in return from left knee injuries suffered last season. Marrone doesn't have a timetable on when either of them could return.

"They're working hard, the trainers are working hard, everybody's working hard, but we just can't get them over the hump," Marrone said. "We've got to go and start preparing to play without them unfortunately. It could change, obviously, but it'd be tough."

Lee is the Jaguars' most experienced receiver, with 171 catches for 2,166 yards and 8 touchdowns. He was injured during the Jaguars' third preseason game in 2018. Robinson started 15 games as a rookie in 2017, when the Jaguars led the NFL in rushing. He was hurt during the Jaguars' Week 2 victory over New England and missed the rest of the 2018 season.

That wasn't the only gloomy injury news from Marrone on Saturday. Despite his radical shift in approach to training camp from the past two seasons -- lighter schedule, slower paced, more down time for the players, and significantly less physical -- to avoid the injuries that helped derail their 2018 season, the Jaguars have still been bombarded by injuries.

Sixteen players either did not practice or participated on a limited basis on Saturday, and in addition to Lee and Robinson the list includes five other projected starters: cornerback A.J. Bouye (hamstring), guard Andrew Norwell (quad), right tackle Jawaan Taylor (knee), tight end Geoff Swaim (foot), and linebacker Quincy Williams (knee). In addition, cornerback Jalen Ramsey was excused for personal reasons.

Williams, who has meniscus damage, is expected to be out for the remainder of the preseason, but it's unclear how long the others will be out. Bouye has worked on the side after the first day of training camp. Taylor was injured last Tuesday when he landed on his knee during a joint practice with Baltimore.

Marrone had changed the way he runs training camp -- two years ago the Jaguars were in full pads for 14 consecutive practices and did the same for 11 consecutive practices last year -- after owner Shad Khan asked how he planned on avoiding the injuries that plagued the team last year. Seven starters were injured by the second week of the season and eventually ended up on injured reserve.

"We're trying to get guys to the season and ready to go," Marrone said. "So that's why practices are the way they are and that's why we're playing the way we are. Is it something that we'd like to do, myself personally? Absolutely not. That's not been my background. I said it after [the first preseason game]: I've changed obviously the philosophy of what I've had in the preseason, and I've had to do it. It was something that was kind of forced with the injuries and everything that happened.

"... I think when you try and do the best you can, I think I can look in the mirror and say, 'Hey, listen, we've done a ton of research on practices and all that stuff.' I have zero regrets. I've busted my ass to figure it out. I'm doing everything I possibly can."