JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars didn't expect nine-year NFL veteran Dennis Northcutt to be in this position at the end of training camp.
With the Jaguars dealing with issues that include injuries and legal problems, it seems Northcutt is the closest the team has to a go-to receiver.
Jacksonville expected Jerry Porter to be the team's No. 1 receiver. He signed a six-year, $30 million contract in the offseason, but Porter had hamstring surgery this summer, missed training camp and is expected to miss the entire preseason.
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|Injuries to Jaguars receivers could force Dennis Northcutt into more action.|
Then there is Reggie Williams, who led the team with 10 touchdown catches last year. Williams needed surgery after re-injuring his right knee during training camp. His knee was heavily wrapped Friday.
"If I'm a starter that means we're hurting somewhere," Northcutt said. "A lot of guys say, 'Yeah, I wish those guys well,' but once a guy gets hurt they're thinking, 'I have a chance to step up here.' I've been there, done that. I really do want Jerry and Reggie to get back here because that makes us better as a team."
Receiver Troy Williamson also was out of practice until this week. Groin and hip flexor problems have sidelined Williamson, an eight-game starter with Minnesota who was traded to the Jaguars this year.
Mike Walker is coming off knee surgery and Matt Jones is facing trial in October on cocaine possession charges.
"I'm definitely concerned because these are the guys that we need on the field to make plays for us," quarterback David Garrard said. "To have them hurting or banged-up or whatever it may be, it seems like it's just been an attack on our receiver corps."
The team also has four rookies and second-year player John Broussard practicing.
Jacksonville normally carries five wide receivers on its final roster, but coach Jack Del Rio said this week he might keep six. That would create its own set of challenges.
"If you keep a sixth guy, what other position are you taking less numbers than usual at?" Del Rio said. "Those are the issues we'll have to work through over the next few weeks."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press