Jaguars Jamal Agnew answered the call Sunday with two touchdowns in loss to Philadelphia

Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew heads into the end zone for one of his two touchdowns in Sunday's 29-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.
Jaguars wide receiver Jamal Agnew heads into the end zone for one of his two touchdowns in Sunday's 29-21 loss to the Philadelphia Eagles.

Jaguars wide receiver/return specialist Jamal Agnew has made big plays from scrimmage before Sunday's game at Philadelphia when he scored the only two offensive touchdowns in a 29-21 loss at Lincoln Financial Field.

There was the acrobatic catch of a Trevor Lawrence pass he made down the sideline last season against Cincinnati. And a 66-yard TD run against Indianapolis.

Of course, they were dwarfed by his historic 109-yard return of a missed field goal attempt at home against Arizona, a team record for returns of any kind.

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In retrospect, Agnew may not have been given enough chances at receiver last season when the Jags were struggling offensively on a weekly basis, before going on injured reserve with seven games to go.

Agnew caught 24 passes for 229 yards and had seven runs for 111 yards, averaging 11.0 yards per touch before he went out for the season.

But in the 10 games in he played, there were four in which he didn't catch a pass and five in which he was not used on a running play.

Jaguars coach Doug Pederson won't make that same mistake.

Agnew started his first game of the season and his third as a Jaguar when Zay Jones couldn't go because of an ankle injury. Agnew responded with four catches for 50 yards and scored on passes of 4 and 8 yards. It was the first time he reached the end zone since the Colts game on the road.

"He's exactly the type of player that we expected," Pederson said Monday during a news conference at TIAA Bank Field. "Not just a punt return or a specialist that way. He's a smart, tough, very good athlete, good quickness, catches the ball well ... he did some nice things in the game."

Teams have been very careful in kicking to Agnew since his monster return last season but he can make an impact on the game as a receiver and runner. So far this season he's caught six passes for 73 yards and is now third behind James Robinson (four) and Christian Kirk (three) in offensive scores.

Agnew will welcome any chance he can get on offense, even if Jones returns, as expected, for Sunday's home game against Houston (1 p.m., CBS).

"When someone goes down, it should be any drop-off," he said on Monday. "The coaching staff expects us to make plays like Zay does, or Christian or Marv [Jones], so that's the mentality we have."

Agnew's first TD pass was a well-executed goal-line call that he said was just put into the playbook a week before. He started lineup in the backfield to Lawrence's right, then flexed to the outside with Marvin Jones to his left.

Agnew came in motion to the left, trailed by Eagles' safety Chauncey Gardner-Johnson. At the snap, Agnew reversed field and sprinted out into the right flat, with Gardner-Johnson unable to stay with him.

Jones took cornerback Zech McPhearson to the inside and Lawrence, operating behind a good block by tackle Jawaan Taylor, flipped the ball to Agnew who easily beat Gardner-Johnson to the corner of the end zone.

Agnew said the offensive coaches were positive the play would work.

"That's a credit to the coaching staff, kind of knowing what the Eagles ran in that situation," Agnew said. "They said, 'this is what they're going to do,' and they did exactly that ... kind of got confused."

Agnew was asked if he was surprised he'd be that open.

"No ... because that’s what the coaches said was going to happen," he said. They said they're not going to communicate it properly. It happened just like they said it would."

Agnew very nearly made another huge play on the first play of the second quarter when he beat McPhearson on a stop-and-go and went streaking to the end zone. Lawrence threw the ball a bit too flat and the ball sailed over Agnew's heat.

It was a key play because Lawrence had the first of his four fumbles three plays later when he was sacked by Fletcher Cox.

"He got pressure ... he probably threw it a little bit sooner than he wanted to," Agnew said. "We had a chance to go up 21-0. That would have been huge."

Agnew's second touchdown showed he isn't necessarily a finesse player. He took a pass from Lawrence in the flat after lining up the slot, and broke tackle attempts by former Jaguar Josiah Scott and McPhearson.

Agnew will be ready to contribute even if Jones returns this week.

"I'm just playing whatever," he said. "Always have that mentality that if they call my number, I'm going to go out and make plays."

Trevor's fumbling

Pederson was asked what his plans were to help Lawrence with his ball security issues after he fumbled four times against the Eagles.

"We just got to make sure there's two hands on the ball," he said. "I know one thing that, that some guys have done in the past — and we'll just have a conversation -- is they use those wet gloves, those passing type gloves. It's an individual preference too. It's nothing that I would definitely force him to wear, but something to have that conversation at least if we know we're going to be in some bad weather. But we've got to focus on two hands on the ball and ... making sure that we do everything in our power to keep it in our hands."

Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence loses the handle on one of his four fumbles on Sunday in a 29-21 loss to Philadelphia, at Lincoln Financial Field.
Jaguars quarterback Trevor Lawrence loses the handle on one of his four fumbles on Sunday in a 29-21 loss to Philadelphia, at Lincoln Financial Field.

Lawrence, who had only one turnover in the first three games, now has lost nine fumbles and thrown 19 interceptions in 21 career NFL games.

Fatukasi status in doubt

Pederson said Jaguars defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi is "day-to-day," after a quad injury against the Eagles. Fatukasi, who had a calf injury in the preseason, played only 16 snaps before coming out.

Pederson said Zay Jones was "looking good" on Monday.

"Have a couple more days of rest and see where he's at on Wednesday but I think he'll be ready to go."

Contact Garry Smits at gsmits@gannett.com and follow him on Twitter @GSmitter

This article originally appeared on Florida Times-Union: Jamal Agnew answered the call on Sunday with two touchdowns in loss to Eagles