RB Travis Etienne could be Jaguars’ X-Factor on offense in 2022

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) /

After ranking 32nd in points scored in 2021, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ offense has nowhere to go up in 2022. While running back James Robinson may not be available by the start of the 2022 season, the Jags could lean on sophomore Travis Etienne, who is slated to return for this offseason’s Organized Team Activities after missing his rookie campaign with a foot injury.

Etienne appeared on the Players Podcast and told host Darien Rencher that he’s resumed training. Moreover, he’s close to 100 percent healthy, via James Johnson of USA TODAY Sports.

"My foot is doing much better… Really just got back into the gym for the first time and I’m squatting for the first time this past week. So that’s been good and I’ve been running for a while now. I’m kind of getting to that 80% to 85% range. Definitely, just heading in the right direction, and as you know with this injury you have to take it day-by-day man. You can’t skip no days."

A first-round draft pick in the 2021 draft, Etienne was supposed to join Robinson in the Jaguars’ backfield and form one of the youngest and most dynamic one-two combos in the NFL. Back in last year’s training camp, the former Clemson Tiger showed the explosiveness and burst that made him a playmaker at the collegiate level. Alas, he sustained a Lisfranc injury in the preseason and didn’t suit up for the 2021 campaign.

The Jaguars could give Travis Etienne a big workload in 2022.

Robinson will spend the offseason rehabbing the Achilles injury he sustained in Week 15 of the season. There’s a chance he will miss a few games this year, so the Jaguars may need to rely on Etienne heavily. Before last year, the running back hadn’t suffered any major injuries and if he doesn’t have any setbacks, he could be a full-go for training camp and carry a big workload early in 2022. In fact, he’s one of four injured Jaguars that should bounce back next season.

The Jags’ offense didn’t have many playmakers last year and the few they had went down with injuries. The Jaguars need to add a few weapons to their offense this offseason but having a healthy Etienne back would also be a plus. Once Robinson returns, Jacksonville could have one of the most dynamic running back tandems in the league.

Before Etienne got hurt last season, running back looked like a position of strength for the Jaguars. If he manages to stay healthy, he will have a chance to prove Jacksonville did the right thing when they made him the 25th overall pick in the 2021 draft.

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