Jaguars Leonard Fournette ruled out for game in London
By David Levin
For the fifth time in seven games, the Jacksonville Jaguars have announced running back Leonard Fournette will not play. The second-year running back continues to deal with a hamstring injury.
Another week the Jacksonville Jaguars without Leonard Fournette in the starting lineup. The team’s final injury report was released from London on Friday with the star tailback out of action when Jacksonville suits up against the Philadelphia Eagles.
When the team will have Fournette back is a mystery, but with a bye week coming up after a return from London, there is hope the former LSU star will be good to go in Week 10 of the NFL season. In the meantime, the Jaguars will go with both T.J. Yeldon and Carlos Hyde as the primary running backs for Sunday’s action.
The running game was supposed to be a fixture in this offense this season, but because of Fournette’s injury, which he suffered in the first half of the game against the New York Giants and Corey Grant’s season-ending foot injury, the game plan has changed a bit. Not only does this offense need to run the football better, but as John Oehser of Jaguars.com wrote the team must score in the first half and find consistency.
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"“The Jaguars have trailed 20-0, 24-0 and 20-0 to the Chiefs, Cowboys, and Texans during their current three-game losing streak,” Oehser stated. “Trailing hampers the pass rush. It increases pressure on a struggling offense. The Jaguars have yet to come from behind this season. It’s not that they can’t do it, but breaking this losing streak will be easier if coming from behind isn’t necessary.”"
Fournette ran for 1,040 yards last season and nine rushing touchdowns. He was hampered by injuries and missed two games in 2017, three overall. Hyde brings a bruising style of running to the offense, much like Fournette.
Oehser also added this is a team that must find more consistency on the ground. Committing to the running game more would help that, but the past three games have dictated a different type of offense.
"“The Jaguars have run for 70 and 65 yards the last two games. Part of that is because they have trailed big early, and it’s tough to run when you’re down by double digits,” wrote Oehser. “Still, the team acquired running back Carlos Hyde to get back to something close to a downhill power-running team. They must get there sooner or later. Sooner would be better.”"
The addition of a more dependable running game would also take some of the pressure off quarterback Blake Bortles who is playing after being benched in the second half of last week’s game against Houston.
Fournette was not the only player listed on the team’s final injury report. Tight end James O’Shaughnessy and cornerbacks Tyler Patmon and A.J. Bouye were also ruled out for Sunday morning’s game.