When WR Jordan Shipley tore his ACL in that fateful 2011 week-two game against the Denver Broncos, many fans simply assumed that he would be able to heal up and return to the team the next year. After all, the injury occurred so early in the season and Shipley was known to possess a Wes Welker-like work ethic, so it was a sure thing for him to be back in time for training camp. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it just didn't work out that way.
Despite all the rehab, his knee refused to heal properly, leading to a weak preseason performance for Shipley and broken hearts for Bengals' fans. With the emergence of slot receiver Andrew Hawkins, the writing was on the wall for Shipley's departure, but many of us still refused to believe it until word came down that he was actually cut. After putting up an impressive 52 catches for 600 yards during his rookie season, Shipley was supposed to be the next big thing, and it was nigh unthinkable that the team would part ways with the receiver after only two seasons.
Yet, part ways they most certainly did. After Shipley was waived on August 17, 2012, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers scooped him up three days later, before cutting him again during their final roster cuts. He reemerged briefly with the Buccaneers for another week in September, but was ultimately cut again after fumbling during a punt return. Finally, on November 20, 2012, Shipley found a more permanent home with the receiver-needy Jacksonville Jaguars, where he contributed 23 catches to close out the season.
Now, it appears Shipley will continue his stay in north Florida, as the Jaguars have signed him to a two-year contract worth $1.315 million.
Although WR Andrew Hawkins has done a fine job of replacing Shipley as the team's primary slot receiver, there will always be a soft spot for the former third-rounder in the hearts of all Bengaldom. I think I can speak for most of us when I say that I hope he continues to find success down in Jacksonville.