After missing NFL 2022 season, Calvin Ridley’s fitness top priority for Jaguars HC Doug Pederson in OTAs: “he hasn’t played a ton of football”

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ star wide receiver Calvin Ridley is demonstrating a ray of hope to his new destination as he rejoins the team for organized team activities after spending nearly two years on the sidelines and head coach Doug Pederson signaled to focus on the young star’s health and getting him back into peak form ahead of the upcoming season.

Ridley’s career had to go through a major downturn due to injuries and suspension, however, he is expected to prove his worth in the Jags, keeping the record of 3,342 receiving yards and 28 touchdowns over his four-year career in his bag.

Why is Doug Pederson concerned with Calvin Ridley in OTAs?

The Jaguars coach Doug Pederson opened up to the reporters following the OTA session on Tuesday and disclosed the reason for holding out Calvin during the early portions of OTAs, saying the move was initiated as precautionary measures given the receiver hasn’t appeared on the field since early in the 2021 season.

“Just want to be careful with him. He is coming off — he hasn’t played in a while, plus the injury. We’re just trying to be careful with him.”

The former Falcons demonstrated excellent athleticism during OTA and proved again why he is considered as one of the top WRs in the football league when healthy and Pederson was impressed at his short yet powerful demonstration of versatility during the practice session.

However, the team might pump the brakes of the WR in OTAs to avoid unnecessary issues and let him run on all gas when the time says so.

“He’s done an outstanding job for us. He’s the type of guy that you have to kinda pump the brakes with. He wants to go so much and so fast and so hard out there at practice that we just kind of have to pump the brakes and just tell him now’s not the time. But he’s doing a great job. He’s picking up the offense well.”

The HC ensured Ridley will be ready to stay on the field for a long-time like others when the time camp starts.

Oh, certainly. Yeah, certainly. Once the guys come back for camp — now we have some exceptions, not necessarily Calvin, but we do have some exceptions to that rule. But yes, wheels are off.”

Why did Calvin miss the whole NFL 2022 season?

The ex-Falcons headed to his prolonged break from football during the initial moment of the 2021 NFL season when he notified the team that he played most of the games of last season with a broken foot and disclosed he was struggling with the recovery process.

He then stepped away from Atlanta to deal with mental health-related issues in the sixth week of the 2021 season and kept himself out of the team’s roster for the entire season.

Calvin Ridley

The 28-year-old had to face double trouble due to violating the NFL’s gambling policy as he bet on the league’s games being away from the franchise, leading him to get slapped with a suspension for the 2022 season. However, the veteran star was traded to Jacksonville later.

With the NFL 2023 season fast approaching, the once-promising WR is expected to bounce back to his past form and prove his impact on the team’s offensive production.


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Maliha works as a content writer in Sportszion specializing in NFL and NBA. She has completed her graduation and post-graduation, majoring in MIS (Management Information Systems). She loves analyzing sports and keeping fans updated with the latest sport buzzes.


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