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Jaguars release receiver Ace Sanders

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars' glut of competition at wide receiver has claimed its first casualty: former fourth-round pick Ace Sanders.

The Jaguars released Sanders on Friday afternoon, leaving eight wide receivers remaining on the roster heading into training camp, which begins July 31.

Sanders caught 57 passes for 539 yards and one touchdown in two seasons with the Jaguars. He was drafted in 2013 primarily as a punt returner, but was forced into significant action at receiver as a rookie because of injuries. He ended up with 51 catches for 484 yards and a touchdown.

Sanders was suspended for the first four games of the 2014 season for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy and never figured prominently into a rotation that included second-round picks Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee and undrafted rookie Allen Hurns, who ended up leading the Jaguars in receiving yards (677) and receiving touchdowns (six).

Sanders also struggled as a punt returner, averaging 7.1 yards on 32 returns. That was marginally better than what he did as a rookie (5.6 yards on 25 returns), but he never made the impact the Jaguars had hoped in the return game.

With Sanders’ release, the top candidates to return punts are veteran Tandon Doss an rookie Rashad Greene. Doss missed the 2014 season with a foot injury, but averaged an NFL-best 15.6 yards per punt return in 2013 with Baltimore. Greene averaged 12.3 yards on 38 punt returns at Florida State, including two that went for touchdowns.