Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns catches the ball and scores a touchdown in the 4th Quarter of the International NFL series match against the Buffalo Bills at Wembley, London on October 25, 2015. Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI. | License Photo
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Wide receiver Allen Hurns had a standout year for the Jacksonville Jaguars. What makes it so impressive is that Hurns was signed as undrafted free agent.
He finished his second season with the Jaguars with a career-high 64 catches for 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns. The 24-year-old is the youngest undrafted receiver since 1970 to have that many receiving yards and touchdowns in a season.
Hurns will have to wait a couple months before he turns his attention to getting ready for the 2016 season. He plans to undergo surgery to repair a sports hernia next week in Philadelphia. The expected recovery time for such a procedure is six to eight weeks.
"I'm actually looking forward to getting the surgery," he said. "It's been very tough for me, a long season. Fighting through that, it's been a lot to deal with. But at the end of the day, I was out there with my teammates.
Coach Gus Bradley has praised for Hurns for his stamina and toughness throughout the season.
"His toughness, I think if you talked to a lot of guys on the team, (he would be among) the top three, top four toughest guys. Hurns would be in that category," Bradley said.
Hurns plans to do a significant amount of his rehab work in Jacksonville and then continue his workouts with other members of the Jaguars offense.
"Just building that chemistry with each other," Hurns said. "Just competing with each other in the weight room, outside catching passes, watching film and things like that .... just building chemistry."
--It was a good season for Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles, though he did have to take some bad with the good. Bortles almost led the league in touchdown passes. His 35 this season were one less than New England's Tom Brady threw. Neither Bortles nor Brady passed for a touchdown in the final game of the regular season, the only time all year that neither threw a TD pass.
The bad came with Bortles' interception total of 18. His two picks on Sunday against Houston moved him past Denver's Peyton Manning, who finished with 17. Manning likely would have been a decisive winner in this category, but suffered a foot injury and hadn't played since Nov. 15 until he returned to action on Sunday. He didn't throw an interception in Sunday's game against San Diego. The last quarterback to finish a season as the NFL leader in TD passes and interceptions was New Orleans' Drew Brees in 2012.
Bortles also set a team record for most passing yards in a single season with 4,428, bettering the 4,367 by Mark Brunell in 1996. But Bortles wasn't in much of a mood to celebrate his accomplishment after the Jaguars were pasted 30-6 by the Texans on Sunday.
"Maybe (later), right now it's pretty pointless," Bortles said. "But it's definitely a cool stat to have. Any time you're able to break a statistical record it's an accomplishment."
--Tight end Marcedes Lewis had his longest reception of the season on Sunday when he caught a short pass from Blake Bortles and rumbled 45 yards downfield. The receptions have been far and few between for the veteran tight end, who finished the season with just 16 catches for 226 yards and no scores. It was the fewest catches for Lewis since his rookie season (13 receptions) and the third fewest yards since that 2006 season (126) and last year (206).
Lewis knew his role would be different this year when the Jaguars signed Julius Thomas as a free agent. In coach Gus Bradley's season-ending press conference on Monday, he praised Lewis as being one of the league's best blocking tight ends.
Lewis will now have a decision to make. His contract, in which he agreed to a $4 million reduction a year ago, is expired, and he's an unrestricted free agent. He left little doubt that he wants to return to Jacksonville.
"I know it's a business at this point, but yes, for sure I'd like to return to the Jaguars next year," the 10-year veteran said. "I had probably my best off-season workouts, my best training camp last year and I stayed healthy the entire season. I'm hopeful that I'll be back with the team in 2016."
--Running back T.J. Yeldon missed his third consecutive game with the Jaguars due to a knee injury. It doesn't appear it requires surgery and Yeldon should be fine after giving it rest.
--Linebacker Telvin Smith is in a similar situation. Smith missed the team's final two games due to a shoulder injury but head coach Gus Bradley said it won't require surgery.
--Defensive back Peyton Thompson said he would undergo foot surgery this week to repair an injury that he has endured since mid-November. Thompson aggravated the injury in Sunday's game but said the surgery was already planned for the end of the season.
--Wide receiver Neal Sterling left Sunday's game against the Texans when he displayed concussion symptoms.
--Center Stefen Wisniewski is an unrestricted free agent after signing a one-year deal with the Jaguars last year. He didn't allow a sack the first half of the season but his play in the second half wasn't as good, including a couple costly bad shotgun snaps, one of which cost the Jaguars a touchdown.