Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Cecil Shorts III was a surprise scratch from the team's Thursday practice, downgraded to "out" as he battles a groin injury, according to Florida Times-Union beat reporter Hays Carlyon. The team hasn't yet commented on the absence.
Through five games this season, Shorts has caught 31 of his 62 targets for 411 yards. He got his first touchdown of the season Sunday against the Rams. His status for the Jaguars' Sunday game against the Denver Broncos is uncertain.
Fantasy impact: It's possible this was a scheduled missed practice for Shorts, though the team hasn't said that. Any time a player's status is downgraded in the middle of the week, fantasy owners' ears should perk up, and this is no exception.
There is a certain appeal to using Shorts against the Broncos, as it seems likely Jacksonville will fall behind early and resort to the passing game, which could lead to big yardage for Shorts and teammate Justin Blackmon. On the other hand, the Denver game is a 4:05 p.m. kickoff, so any owners considering using Shorts will want to have a late-game alternative if no more news comes out before Sunday.