Can the Jaguars Excel this Season Without Leonard Fournette?
The Jacksonville Jaguars could once again be without running back Leonard Fournette for the foreseeable future.
The message was clear on Monday afternoon. Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said Leonard Fournette is still dealing with a hamstring injury and when the star running back will return is unknown.
After missing the past two games and the second half of the first game of the season, Fournette returned to the lineup on Sunday when the Jaguars faced the New York Jets. His time on the field lasted one half.
For those who are keeping score, he has now missed five and a half of the possible 23 games he has been eligible to play since coming into the league the team’s first-round draft pick last year.
"“Again, you probably go back to when he first hurt it,” Marrone said Monday afternoon, a day after the Jaguars’ 31-12 victory over the Jets at TIAA Bank Field. “I don’t know how long it will be. It will be day by day.”"
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The Jaguars won with a high-powered passing game, where quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 388 yards and two touchdowns. Jacksonville has had to adjust their game plan, abandoning the running attack to some degree, and let Bortles become the focal point of the offense.
Fournette’s running mate, T.J. Yeldon, has also been hampered by an ankle injury but did lead the team in rushing on Sunday. Yeldon had two touchdowns on Sunday – one on the ground and one on a pass play from Bortles.
The former LSU star was listed on the injury report all week until Friday. He was limited in two practices during the week before competing in a full practice on Friday.
"“It’s the same thing: there’s a thing that’s just pulling at it,” Marrone said. “It’s legit. There is something there. We’ve just got to do everything we can to just get out whatever that thing is that feels like it catches. That’s all I know. I don’t know all the doctor’s talk. I just give you the layman’s talk.”"
Injuries aren’t anything new for Fournette as they plagued him in college as well.
Now, the Jaguars aren’t sure when he may be back on the field. The Jaguars face both the Kansas City Chiefs and the Dallas Cowboys in back-to-back weeks on the road.
There is no word if those will be the only games he is held out of before the team comes home when they host the Houston Texans.
The Jaguars also have Corey Grant and Brandon Wilds on the roster at running back. Fullback Tommy Bohanon could also see a few carries in Fournette’s absence.