By now everybody knows WR Justin Blackmon has ended the longest rookie holdout of the season on Monday and has joined the Jaguars in camp. It will still be a few days until he’s running around full speed, but when he gets to that point, it will affect several players in camp.
Here’s a look at some players who are affected by Blackmon’s presence:
QB Blaine Gabbert: Gabbert had a huge smile on his face when the Jaguars picked Blackmon. Now he can be relieved that he’s finally coming to camp. Gabbert had plenty of struggles as a rookie in 2011, but he didn’t have a lot of help on the perimeter either. Getting Blackmon in camp will be a huge boost for the second-year quarterback.
WR Laurent Robinson: The much anticipated new one-two punch at WR finally can get to work together. WRs Mike Thomas and Cecil Shorts have the potential to add solid depth, but the Jaguars’ best hope at overhauling their passing offense is for Robinson and Blackmon to become a lethal duo. It will also take a little bit of the pressure off of Robinson, who has had every move of the preseason analyzed after signing a $32.5 million contract in the offseason.
WR Cecil Shorts: Shorts will probably see the most immediate effects of Blackmon’s presence. He had been taking many of the snaps in Blackmon’s spot, and he will have to fight off the promising rookie to keep that spot. Nothing’s a given in the NFL, but the reality is that Shorts’ reps will diminish before too long.
WRs Brian Robiskie, Mike Brown, Lee Evans and Taylor Price: They all got a boost on the depth chart with Blackmon out, but they will fall back down soon. That also means this group will fight to make the roster. The Jaguars will likely keep either five or six WRs. Blackmon, Robinson, Shorts and Thomas all look like keepers, so one or two more will emerge from this group.
RB Maurice Jones-Drew: He’s not even in camp, but he will be affected as well. All the holdout attention turns to him now. The Jaguars showed some flexibility in Blackmon’s case, but they were firm as well. All the pieces for an improved offense are now in camp –- except for Jones-Drew.
For more Jaguars news and analysis, follow Daniel Lewis @CBSSportsNFLJAC.