D.J. Chark Jr.

Lions Activate WR DJ Chark From IR

After suffering an early-season injury for the second straight year, DJ Chark will be have a chance to re-establish some value down the stretch. The Lions used one of their injury activations on the veteran wide receiver Saturday.

Chark ran into more ankle trouble this season. After suffering a broken ankle four games into the 2021 slate, the former second-round pick injured the same ankle in Week 3. The Lions waited a bit to place Chark on IR but ended up doing so. Chark, 26, has missed the past six games.

The Lions gave Chark a one-year, $10MM deal (fully guaranteed) to sign in March, adding him to a receiver group now centered around Amon-Ra St. Brown. The Lions have not had the chance to use their optimal receiving corps — one featuring St. Brown, Chark and Jameson Williams — due to their No. 12 overall pick still recovering from an ACL tear sustained in the national championship game. Detroit is aiming for Williams to begin practicing after Thanksgiving, but it is not certain at this point if the Alabama product will play this season.

Chark is the only Jaguars receiver to surpass 1,000 yards in the past six seasons, totaling 1,008 yards alongside Gardner Minshew in 2019. He posted 706 yards for a worse Jags squad in 2020 and did not see much action during the franchise’s Urban Meyer season due to the injury. This season, the LSU product has seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown.

This upcoming stretch will be pivotal for Chark’s post-2022 value. The ankle fracture he suffered last year led to a reduced free agency market. The 6-foot-4 pass catcher will need to show he can stay healthy in order to create a decent market for himself next year. The 2023 free agent receiver class is not especially strong; Chark could be a key factor on next year’s market if he can fare well in the second half of his Lions campaign.

Lions Designate Romeo Okwara, DJ Chark For Return, Aiming For Late-Season Jameson Williams Look

Coming off their second straight win, the Lions made some notable transactions Wednesday. They designated Romeo Okwara and DJ Chark for return.

In his third season with Detroit, Okwara has been on the team’s reserve/PUP list all season. He has been recovering from a torn Achilles for more than 13 months. Chark has been out since Week 3. The free agency pickup his now missed 19 games over the past two seasons.

While Chark returning stands to bolster a Lions attack that has seen its top skill-position players either miss time (Amon-Ra St. Brown, D’Andre Swift) or be traded (T.J. Hockenson), the Lions’ plans with Jameson Williams take big-picture precedence. Still sidelined from the ACL tear he suffered in last season’s national championship game, Williams remains in the picture for this season’s Lions. The team is hoping for Williams to return to practice after Thanksgiving, Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press tweets.

It would be a nice bonus for the rebuilding Lions to have Williams see game action this season, but that may not be a guarantee. The team has been cautious with the first-round pick. Previous reports indicated a midseason return to practice was in play, but the franchise has pushed back the timetable. Considering the current team’s status and Williams’ long-term importance to the organization, it is unsurprising his rehab run is approaching the 11-month mark.

The Lions having a St. Brown-Chark-Williams trio together for this season’s final games would represent a nice evaluation window for the future. St. Brown and Williams will almost certainly be 2023 Lions starters. It is unclear if Chark will be in the team’s post-2022 plans. The former Jaguars second-rounder, who signed a one-year deal worth $10MM in March, missed almost all of last season with a broken ankle. An injury to that same ankle has shelved Chark this year. After initially leaving him on their 53-man roster, the Lions moved Chark to IR. He has seven catches for 98 yards and a touchdown in his Detroit debut.

Okwara, 27, remains attached to the three-year, $37MM deal he signed in 2021. The Lions have rostered the elder Okwara since 2018, when they claimed him off waivers from the Giants. He has 10- and 7.5-sack seasons on his Detroit resume, with the 10-sack campaign in 2020 prompting the Lions to re-sign him. The seventh-year edge rusher has not yet seen extended run with younger brother Julian, whom the Lions drafted in the 2020 third round.

Both Chark and Romeo Okwara can be moved onto the Lions’ 53-man roster at any point over the next three weeks. Residing on Detroit’s reserve/NFI list, Williams would have the same timeline once he returns to practice. The Lions are in fairly good shape, activation-wise, holding five going into Week 11.

Lions Place WR DJ Chark On IR

DJ Chark has not seen the field since Week 3, and is not close to a return. The Lions announced on Saturday that the veteran wideout has been placed on IR.

The move guarantees that Chark will not be able to return for another month, and adds to the disappointment of his debut season in Detroit. The 26-year-old signed a one-year deal in March, as the team made a number of moves aimed at upgrading its aerial attack. Even with first-round rookie Jameson Williams yet to be activated, that improvement has taken place so far, as the Lions rank eighth in the NFL in passing yards per game (272).

Chark, however, has played a small role in that early success. The former Pro Bowler scored a touchdown in Week 1, but was held without a catch the following week. Overall, he has totaled 98 yards on seven receptions in 2022, a year in which he looked to put availability troubles behind him after an ankle injury limited him to four contests last season.

“I’m not really too comfortable speaking too deep into the detail of [the injury], just because I’m trying to figure out everything myself,” Chark said when speaking to the media, during which time he was seen in a walking boot. “But I definitely will be back this year for sure.”

Without their top free agent signing, the Lions will move forward with Josh Reynolds and Amon-Ra St. Brown as their top wideouts, along with tight end T.J. Hockenson as a focal point of their pass-catching corps. Chark is joined by cornerback Bobby Price on IR.

In more positive news, the team also confirmed that rookie defensive Josh Paschal and second-round corner Jerry Jacobs have been activated from the PUP list. Coming off of their bye week, the Lions will look to earn their second win of the year on Sunday against the Cowboys.

Lions To Sign DJ Chark

Another free agent wide receiver is set to be on the move. DJ Chark is signing a one-year deal with the Lions, reports ESPN’s Adam Schefter (Twitter link). 

In a follow-up tweet, he adds that the deal has a maximum value of $12MM. Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network adds that Chark will receive $10MM in guaranteed money (Twitter link). The news comes not long after it had been reported new Jaguars head coach Doug Pederson wanted to keep the 25-year-old.

On the other hand, it comes one day after Jacksonville was the busiest team in terms of reaching agreements with some of the biggest names on the open market, especially on the offensive side of the ball. That included two contracts for new wideouts, most notably a sizeable deal for Christian Kirk. The money committed to the former Cardinal, along with Evan Engram and Zay Jones, left Chark on the lookout for a new home.

A second round pick of Jacksonville in 2018, Chark’s best season came in 2019. That year, he totalled 73 catches for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns en route to a Pro Bowl appearance. Injuries have become a concern since then, as he has played 17 total games in the last two seasons. Still, he will provide a boost to the Lions’ WR room, which retained Josh Reynolds earlier this month. Between those two, along with Amon-Ra St. Brown and tight end T.J. Hockenson, Detroit figures to have an improved pass-catching corps in 2022.

Jaguars’ Pederson Wants DJ Chark Back

The Jaguars figure to be big players in free agency, with lots of cap space to work with and plenty of room for improvement on offense. One piece of the unit that new head coach Doug Pederson would like to keep in Jacksonville, however, is receiver DJ Chark

In an appearance on 1010 XL, Pederson noted that injuries played a large role in the team’s struggles last year. With a rookie quarterback in Trevor Lawrence, along with a lost season for fellow first-rounder Travis Etienne, the Jags certainly could’ve used a productive campaign from Chark. Instead, he suffered a fractured ankle in Week 4, an injury that ended his season. The 25-year-old posted 154 receiving yards, and the Jaguars finished last in the league in scoring.

You think about James Robinson, you think about Travis Etienne, you think about even, you know, hopefully we get DJ Chark back” Pederson said. “I mean, you think about some of these younger receivers that we do have and there is some skill and ability there that we are excited as a staff to get going with”.

While Pederson added that the offense “is not there yet”, and that new pieces will be brought in, his remarks demonstrate a willingness to bring the former second round pick back. Chark’s best season came in 2019, where he made 73 catches for 1,008 yards and eight touchdowns en route to the Pro Bowl. That helped lead to momentum regarding a potential extension early in the 2021 campaign, but the ankle injury – one of several in his career – surely complicates the matter.

Without a new deal in the next few weeks, Chark will hit the open market. If he does land elsewhere, Jacksonville will still have Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault and Jamal Agnew under contract through next year.

Jaguars’ DJ Chark Done For Year

Jaguars head coach Urban Meyer announced that DJ Chark will be out the rest of the season (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com). The wide receiver was placed on IR earlier this month, but the Jags were initially hoping that he could return towards the end of the year. 

Chark fractured his ankle on Oct. 3 against the Bengals. Afterwards, he was unable to put weight on his leg and ultimately had to be carted off the field.

The former second-round pick enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2019, finishing with 1,028 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns. His numbers took a step back in 2020 as he recorded a line of 53/706/5. In four games this year, he notched seven receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns.

The Jaguars have discussed an extension with Chark, but the injury will complicate things for the former second-round pick. While he rehabs with an eye on 2022, the Jags will move forward with Marvin Jones, Laviska Shenault Jr., and Jamal Agnew as their top receivers.

Jaguars Have Discussed D.J. Chark Extension

D.J. Chark‘s contract year has not started well, with the veteran wide receiver on IR. But the Jaguars have discussed the prospect of keeping him around beyond this season.

A fractured ankle sustained last week landed Chark on IR and clouds his future, but Jonathan Jones of CBS Sports notes the team held internal discussions about extending the fourth-year pass catcher this season. Chark formed a bond with Trevor Lawrence this offseason, per Jones, who adds the current regime — despite inheriting Chark — discussed a possible extension in order to develop some continuity after the franchise could not solidify long-term partnerships with Jalen Ramsey or Yannick Ngakoue.

A former second-round pick, Chark is the only Jaguar to clear 1,000 receiving yards in any of the past six seasons. The LSU product did so in 2019. Chark, 25, did not approach the 1,000-yard barrier last season, but his 706 yards — in 13 games — still led a woeful Jacksonville outfit.

The Jags have Laviska Shenault and Marvin Jones signed beyond this season, and Chark’s status has changed due to the ankle setback. This has continued a recent pattern for the productive wideout. Chark missed time last season for three different injuries and underwent finger surgery this offseason.

While Chark’s more severe ailment has interfered with his chance to make a pre-free agency statement, the Jags showing interest in another deal is certainly notable — even amid the turmoil engulfing the team’s current top decision-maker. The prospect of a Chark deal also looms as interesting given the unremarkable returns the team’s past two notable receiver re-ups — for Allen Hurns and Marqise Lee — produced.

Jaguars Place DJ Chark On IR

The Jaguars have placed D.J. Chark on the injured reserve list following his ankle fracture. They’ve also done the same with offensive lineman A.J. Cann (knee injury) while activating offensive tackle Walker Little from the COVID-19 list. 

Chark’s ankle bent backwards in last week’s game against the Bengals. Afterwards, he was unable to put weight on his leg and ultimately had to be carted off the field.

Chark, a former second-round pick, enjoyed a breakout campaign in 2019, finishing with 1,028 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns. His numbers took a step back in 2020, and through the first three games of the 2021 campaign, he hauled in only seven receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns. There’s no word yet on his timetable, but it’ll be a while before he retakes the field. In the meantime, Trevor Lawrence will feed to top receivers Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault.

Cann has spent his entire career with the Jags, serving as a starter in each of his seven seasons. He’s hardly missed time along the way, but his Thursday night injury left him with no other choice.

Now at 0-4, the short-handed Jaguars will try their luck against the Titans this week.

Jaguars WR DJ Chark Suffers Fractured Ankle

The Jaguars lost one of their key offensive weapons tonight. Wide receiver DJ Chark was carted off the field during the first quarter of tonight’s game against the Bengals. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the wideout suffered a fractured ankle, an injury that will surely sideline him for the foreseeable future.

Chark had his ankle awkwardly bent back during a play. He was unable to put weight on his leg and was ultimately carted off the field. After initially being listed as “questionable” to return, the receiver was downgraded to “out.”

The former second-round pick had a breakout campaign in 2019, finishing with 1,028 yards from scrimmage and eight touchdowns. His numbers took a step back in 2020, and through the first three games of the 2021 campaign, he hauled in only seven receptions for 154 yards and two touchdowns.

Fortunately for Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars, the passing game can still lean on receivers Marvin Jones and Laviska Shenault. The team also activated Tavon Austin today, providing the team with another weapon.

Jaguars LB Leon Jacobs Done For Season

Leon Jacobs‘ season is over. The Jaguars linebacker tore his ACL during Thursday’s loss to the Dolphins and will miss the rest of the 2020 campaign.

It’s a tough break for Jacobs, as the 24-year-old was establishing himself as a starter. After starting seven of his 14 games in 2019, the 2018 seventh-rounder had started two of his three appearances in 2020, compiling three tackles and one tackle for a loss. In 29 career games (12 starts), Jacobs has 66 tackles, two sacks, and one fumble recovery.

When Jacobs went down in the first quarter on Thursday, Cassius Marsh was the first choice to fill in at linebacker. The 28-year-old ended up playing 62-percent of Jacksonville’s defensive snaps, collecting three tackles.

ESPN’s Michael DiRocco passed along injury updates on some other notable Jaguars player. Wideout DJ Chark was sat out Thursday’s game with a chest/back injury, but he should return to the practice squad next week if his recent test results come back clean. Center Brandon Linder is also expected to return from a knee injury, while safety Andrew Wingard‘s core muscle injury isn’t as serious as initially thought.

Meanwhile, rookie kicker Brandon Wright suffered a groin injury during Thursday’s loss, forcing the Jaguars to start hunting around for some reinforcement. Wright was already filling in for starter Josh Lambo, who’s sitting on the IR with a hip injury. The 23-year-old Wright has connected on one of his two extra point tries this season.