The Jacksonville Jaguars will be without one of their top wide receivers for an undetermined amount of time, as head coach Urban Meyer revealed on Sunday that D.J. Chark underwent surgery on his finger. According to ESPN, Meyer said that Chark had a plate inserted into the finger, but he is still expected to be ready for the season opener against the Houston Texans.
"He had surgery as a minor break, hairline," Meyer said, via SI.com. "They plated it, he should be good for the first game."
Chark is entering an important season, as there is just one year remaining on his deal and he has been tasked with earning the respect of the new coaching staff. The 24-year-old has suffered through ups and downs in his first three NFL seasons. In 2019, Chark caught 73 passes for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns, and earned Pro Bowl honors. He took a step backward in 2020, however, as he caught just 53 passes for 706 yards and five touchdowns. After watching Chark's 2020 film, Meyer even described him as a "big guy that played little."
It's possible that Chark could be sharing the field with the best quarterback he has ever played with in 2020, but he is also facing some stiff competition. The Jaguars went out and signed veteran wideout Marvin Jones Jr. in free agency, drafted Jalen Camp out of Georgia Tech and then have second-year receivers Laviska Shenault Jr. and Collin Johnson -- who have both shown promise. Chark missing out on valuable reps with rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence is not ideal, but it's still positive that he's expected back before the start of the regular season.