The Jaguars have released veteran running back Benny Cunningham because of a hamstring injury.
Cunningham, who the team signed as a free agent in March has been dealing with a hamstring injury. The move also means the first three running backs on the depth chart are set. Leonard Fournette will remain the team’s starter with Alfred Blue as his primary backup.
Blue was also signed in free agency after spending his first five seasons on his career with the Houston Texans. He was the running back at LSU prior to Fournette’s arrival in Baton Rouge.
Rookie Ryquell Armstead will be the third back in the rotation and continues to garner praise from the coaching staff for his efforts from Thursday night.
The Jaguars hope to use the running back more this season than in 2018. Injuries hurt the group’s production in 2018, with Fournette missing a total of eight games and Corey Grant, who is no longer on the roster, going down in Week 5. There is more emphasis on the backs being part of the passing game as well, something both offensive coordinator John DeFilippo and quarterback Nick Foles have stressed in camp.
DeFillippo mentioned how he has been pleased with Fournette’s progression with the offense when he met with the media over a week ago.
"“I think he’s caught numerous balls each day of practice and that’s a role that that position needs to play, there’s pass plays that are an extension to your run game,” he explained."
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"“If you throw a guy a wide route it’s basically like tossing the football and trying to circle the defense, so that’s going to be, I don’t want to say a huge piece of our offense, but it’s definitely going to be a piece for us."
The loss of Cunningham also means the special teams unit could be affected. It is believed to be one of the reasons the Jaguars signed the former Bears and Rams back.
There is still competition for the fourth running back spot on the team. Thomas Rawls, who has been battling injuries as well, took part in practice yesterday. The also has Devante Mays on the roster.
The Jaguars currently have 90 players in the roster. Based on what head coach Doug Marrone said prior to the team’s practice on Saturday afternoon, he may hold veterans out of the game on Thursday against the Philadelphia Eagles.