Jacksonville Jaguars: 3 realistic expectations for RB Travis Etienne in 2021

Running back Travis Etienne of the Jacksonvile Jaguars (Bob Self/Florida Times-Union)
Running back Travis Etienne of the Jacksonvile Jaguars (Bob Self/Florida Times-Union) /
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Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacksonville Jaguars running back James Robinson #30 (Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports) /

Travis Etienne will have a key role for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Make no mistake, James Robinson will carry the load for the Jaguars. The Illinois State product established himself as a top 10 running back right out of the gate and totaled 1,414 scrimmage yards in 2020, the most by an undrafted rookie in NFL history.

However, the Jags knew they needed to take some pressure off Robinson’s shoulders, as he had a league-high 86 percent of the team’s carries last season. Jacksonville now has another running back they can count on and won’t have to overwork Robinson in 2021. Etienne should be able to spell the sophomore running back and even start if he is forced to miss time with injuries, so how many carries will the Clemson product get?

Robinson tallied 240 carries and was targeted 60 times last year but keep in mind that the Jags weren’t able to extend drives, so they finished dead last in attempts with 337. If they can move the ball more effectively in 2021, they should run the ball more, and their running backs will get more carries.

Let’s say the Jaguars total 420 carries as a team in 2021, Robinson could still have somewhere around 230, Etienne could earn 150 and the rest of their running backs – including veteran Carlos Hyde – get their remaining carries. Also, Etienne is a better receiver than Robinson, so it wouldn’t be shocking to see Jacksonville target him between 40 and 50 times this upcoming season.