JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Now that the 2017 season is beginning, it's time to bring back the Jacksonville Jaguars mailbag. Each Saturday morning I'll answer a representative question, hitting a topic that drew the most interest. Submit your questions via Twitter to @ESPNdirocco. Please use the hashtag #jagsmail.
#jagsmail Do you think Dede coming back in week 8 will give the offense another threat WR now that AR15 is gone?— Charles Lidderindo (@Lidderindolife) September 22, 2017
@ESPNdirocco: First, a little housekeeping for those not familiar with the situation. Receiver Dede Westbrook had core muscle surgery on Sept. 12 and is on injured reserve. Teams do not have to designate the player that can return from IR after eight weeks, but it's logical that the Jaguars are planning to bring Westbrook back as soon as possible.
As for how much Westbrook will be able to help the offense overcome the loss of Allen Robinson (torn left ACL), I wouldn't expect much right away. Westbrook will have missed two months of conditioning, valuable practice reps, and game experience. Remember, one of the things coach Doug Marrone has consistently said about Westbrook is that he had issues with press coverage in training camp and the preseason, so that's something else that Westbrook will have to handle when he returns.
Don't misunderstand: Westbrook is very talented and has elite speed, which is why the Jaguars drafted him in the fourth round. He has the ability to stretch the field as well as take a short pass and turn it into a big play. The Jaguars need more playmakers, especially without Robinson on the field.
Eventually Westbrook will be able to make a difference in the Jaguars' offense, but it would be too much to expect him to do so right away after missing all that time.