Marqise Lee tore his ACL in the Jaguars' third preseason game last August and the good news? If he can regain his pre-ACL form, Lee could re-emerge as the player he was in 2017, when he led the Jaguars with 96 targets. The better news? Nick Foles is now the Jaguars' quarterback, which at least opens up the possibility of a more dangerous downfield passing attack than we've seen in recent seasons.
Head coach Doug Marrone said earlier this year that the expectation was that Lee will be back to full speed by the end of the preseason. Wide receivers coach Keenan McCardell offered his own update on Lee’s condition the first week of June and it doesn’t seem like too much has changed about the wideout’s outlook. “He’s probably a couple of weeks into training camp before he’ll be back,” McCardell said. Whether that means a couple of weeks before he’s ready to seriously dive into drills or a couple of weeks before he’s getting on the field at all remains to be seen, but either option means that Lee will be cutting it close in terms of the regular season and nothing is guaranteed. Remember, the Jaguars could put Lee on injured reserve to start the season if they desire, and that would put them in position to not rush his return (and bring him back in later in the season). However, if he’s 100% by the time the final roster is constructed, that wouldn’t be a bad thing either.
2019 Bottom Line
The Jaguars also have Chris Conley, Dede Westbrook, D.J. Chark, Keelan Cole and the recently-signed Terrelle Pryor, but McCardell called Lee the unit’s “alpha dog", so they’ll be hoping he’s back on track by Week 1. Even assuming the Jaguars pass more with Foles at QB than they did with Blake Bortles as their trigger man, it's hard to view Lee as more than a late-round flier until we get a better feel for his timetable as the exhibition season plays out.