The first receiver Jaguars coach Gus Bradley mentioned Monday when asked about replacing suspended Justin Blackmon was a bit of a surprise.
Bradley singled out Stephen Burton. The 23-year-old Burton joined the Jaguars on Sept. 1 after being claimed off waivers from Minnesota. He’s missed the last five games with a concussion.
Bradley admitted the situation wasn’t “ideal” considering the time Burton missed, but that he had to step up in Blackmon’s absence. Blackmon will miss the rest of the season after being suspended for violating the league’s substance abuse policy again.
“We’ve always been intrigued by him,” Bradley said. “He’s 6-1, 220 pounds and [runs a] 4.4. We’ve been really developing him to see what he can do. Can a guy like Stephen Burton make strides? That’s our objective as a coaching staff. What we’d like to see is let’s see how he progresses and can he help continue the offense in the right direction?”
Mike Brown is the best prospect for increased targets and snaps with Blackmon out, but the coaching staff clearly likes Burton's potential. He's a player to monitor in standard 12-team redraft leagues.