T.J. Yeldon: Should we be concerned over mediocre debut?


T.J. Yeldon got his first game action with the Jacksonville Jaguars last Friday night against the Detroit Lions. In a game featuring two dynamic rookie running backs, there was plenty of hype surrounding Yeldon’s debut for the Jags.

With Yeldon coming to Jacksonville via the 2015 NFL Draft, the hope is that he can provide balance on offense and turn the ground attack into a threat once again.

In his pursuit of that goal, Yeldon started slow.

On Friday night, T.J. Yeldon produced just 10 yards on eight attempts with a long of just four yards. He was stuffed on a few occasions and struggled to get anything going against a Lions defense that was missing many starters. On Yeldon’s one-yard touchdown dive he was driven back from the goal line and the ball just barely broke the goal line.

So, is it time to be worried?

Obviously, this is the first game action of a rookie running back who missed the last two because as a precaution while he nursed a finger sprain. It shouldn’t be read into too much. With just an eight carry sample size, there isn’t a lot to go on yet. We could be saying that Yeldon scored on 12% of his runs through the preseason to this point, but we aren’t because we know that would be a ridiculous statement after such a short period of time.

One game, eight carries, and 10 yards isn’t enough to start worrying. We’re far from Trent Richardson drama, still.

The biggest concern his debut with the Jaguars created may lay in fantasy football.

The second biggest concern may be that the Jacksonville Jaguars can’t run the ball well against a defense at all. As noted by Vito Stellino at the Florida Times-Union, all Jaguars running backs combined for just 18 yards on 12 carries in the first half. This also shouldn’t be read into too much as the Jags have had a decent running attack through the preseason and the Lions game could just be an oddity.

An important thing to keep in mind is that this is still the preseason and while it’s a great evaluation tool, there’s still plenty of time left before the regular season and the games start counting.

Let’s wait it out, Jags and T.J. Yeldon fans. Yeldon has been receiving rave reviews all offseason, he’ll deliver at some point.

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