Chris Ivory may finally be ready to run the ball for the Jacksonville Jaguars, seeing his first regular season action for the team.
The entire Jacksonville Jaguars offense isn’t 100 percent reliant on running back Chris Ivory. Still, his presence has been proven to be important.
Without him, the Jaguars have amassed just 117 yards on the ground (30th in the NFL). 36 of those yards are from quarterback Blake Bortles while T.J. Yeldon (who is a “co-starter” with Ivory) has contributed just 67 yards on 28 carries (2.4 yards per carry).
The running game has been stalled since the start of the season. Yeldon isn’t producing like his rookie year, when he averaged over four yards per carry. The Jags need Ivory back in the lineup to deliver the hard yards that he is known to give his teams.
Ivory is a hard-nosed runner who isn’t afraid of contact and will punish defenses for thinking they can slow him down.
Fortunately, it looks like Ivory is ready to return – and make his debut – for Week 3. After missing the first two games due to an illness, this could be the critical component that gets the Jaguars their first win of the season.
Thus far, it has been all about Bortles and his arm. Whether the inept running against the Green Bay Packers or the deep hole against the San Diego Chargers, the Jags have been forced to turn to his arm. Even on critical fourth and one situations, the Jags haven’t been able to trust the running game to deliver.
The Week 3 matchup against the Baltimore Ravens is favorable. The Jaguars can get a win here. The Ravens are by no means a push over (and the Jags barely escaped with a last-second win in 2015) but this game is winnable.
With a balanced offense for the first time in 2016, the Jaguars should be able to effectively move the ball each and every drive. The running game will open up opportunities for wide receivers Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns as well as tight end Julius Thomas.
All of the hope doesn’t hinge on Chris Ivory, but his presence should open things up and it may just be enough to get over the top.