Jaguars seek another big game from 'Mr. London' at Wembley
(AP Photo/Tim Ireland, File)
By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Allen Hurns has an overseas highlight reel better than all of his Jacksonville Jaguars teammates. It has to be among the best in the NFL, too.
The fourth-year receiver has made the play of the day in each of his last two games at iconic Wembley Stadium.
There was the diving, 31-yard touchdown catch that beat Buffalo 34-31 in 2015 and then a 42-yard catch-and-run that turned out to be the difference in a 30-27 victory against Indianapolis last year.
His efforts even earned him the nickname "Mr. London."
"As far as having that name, it doesn't do anything for me," Hurns said Wednesday. "I always have positive vibes every time I step out there on that field. It doesn't mean anything different to me going over to London.
"I just treat it as another opportunity to showcase what I'm capable of."
Hurns is getting plenty of chances these days, especially with No. 1 receiver Allen Robinson out for the season with a knee injury.
Throughout training camp and the preseason, it looked like Hurns would have a diminished role and play primarily in the slot. There was even talk about the former Miami standout being on the trading block.
"I never doubted myself," he said. "No matter what happens throughout with the organization, if it's the fans or people in house, whatever it is, I never lost that motivation or that confidence in myself.
"At the end of the end of the day, it is kind of crazy just hearing the talk because you don't know. It can be true; it may not. At the end of the day, you never really know."
Hurns eventually called his agent, who insisted there was no truth to the trade rumors.
Probably a good thing, too. Once Robinson tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, Hurns was back in the starting lineup.
Now, he's headed across the pond in hopes of another memorable moment at Wembley.
"He tends to come up with big plays in London," quarterback Blake Bortles said. "Hopefully that keeps happening."
No one should be surprised if it does.
Hurns has 159 receptions for 2,309 yards and 20 touchdowns in three-plus seasons. His 1,031-yard, 10-touchdown campaign in 2015 earned him a four-year, $40.6 million contract extension that included $16 million guaranteed.
All of Hurns' guaranteed money will be paid by the end of this year, so staying in Jacksonville is probably contingent on staying healthy - he missed five games in 2016 - and having another solid season.
There are few better places for Hurns to state his case than London.
His diving reception against the Bills was as artful as it was athletic. Bortles scrambled out of the pocket and rolled left and floated a pass toward the front pylon. Hurns came across the field, totally stretched out and managed to maintain control of the ball and get an elbow down before sliding out of bounds at the goal line.
Hurns said it remains the best catch of his career.
Bortles called it his favorite, too.
The one against the Colts wasn't too shabby, either. Hurns turned a 5-yard out into a huge gain when he made one defender miss on slippery grass and then juked four more on his way to the end zone.
Team executive Tony Khan, owner Shad Khan's son, gave Hurns the "Mr. London" moniker afterward.
"When I step out there on the field, I just make plays," Hurns said.
For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL
Updated September 20, 2017