Jaydon Mickens has gone from living out of his car to making plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He has two touchdowns in the first half against the Texans, his first being this 5-yard dump off pass from Blake Bortles, who had a fine first half himself.
His two touchdowns today are his first ones of the season, but he’s been effective for Doug Marrone’s team on punt returns since Week 7.
Mickens’ story is not a usual one. Earlier this season, he chose to sleep in his car instead of paying for a permanent place to live, because he wasn’t sure of his future with the team.
“If you’re on a month or year lease, you can’t break it,” Mickens said via the Florida Times-Union. “I didn’t know how long I was going to be here. You can be here for two weeks and then gone tomorrow.”
Mickens was cut for the third time in a year in October by the Raiders, and signed with the Jaguars’ practice squad two weeks later. He was activated on Oct. 21, and went from making $6,500 a week on the practice squad to $465,000 a year on the rookie minimum.
Mickens would typically park and sleep in the EverBank Field parking lot, but would also sometimes choose a hotel parking lot downtown where he and teammate Larry Pinkard knew they’d be safe.
While the situation sounds far from ideal, the South Central Los Angeles native told the Florida Times-Union, “I came from nothing. I’ve been through way worse.”
Last week, he was the first Jaguar to win two AFC Special Teams Player of the Week awards after a 72-yard return set up a touchdown in the second half against the Seahawks.
If he’s able to continue to make his presence felt in the offense, Mickens might be around for a while.