Jaguars running backs don’t get love in recent AFC ranking

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne (1) at TIAA Bank Field. (Imagn Images photo pool)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne (1) at TIAA Bank Field. (Imagn Images photo pool) /

At one point in the 2021 season, James Robinson was one of the most productive running backs in the NFL. However, questionable coaching decisions and an Achilles injury hindered his production. Still, you would think that Redbird would be included among the best running backs ahead of the 2022 season in spite of all the roadblocks. However, he and fellow Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne didn’t earn a high spot in a recent ranking.

FanDuel recently posted on social media an AFC running back ranking. Robinson wasn’t included and Etienne popped up at 11. Jonathan Taylor of the Indianapolis Colts rightfully got the top spot after racking up 1,811 yards and a staggering 18 touchdowns on 332 carries last season. Derrick Henry landed at No. 2. He was on his way to another productive season before he suffered an injury that limited him to just eight games. Nick Chubb claimed third place after toting the rock 228 times for 1,259 yards and eight touchdowns. However, things get confusing afterwards.

Austin Ekeler is a pivotal piece in the Los Angeles Chargers’ offense but is he really the fourth-best running back in the NFL? That’s debatable. The same goes for Najee Harris at No. 5, who was good but not great as a rookie. Also, you could make the case that Joe Mixon, who was ranked sixth, should have gotten a higher spot. Similarly, it’s a bit surprising to see Josh Jacobs land at number eight. Here’s the whole ranking in case you want to share your two cents.

The Jaguars running backs got a fair ranking on the list.

It’s true that Etienne and Robinson didn’t get a favorable ranking but it’s fair when you take into account their current circumstances. Etienne missed his rookie campaign after suffering a Lisfranc injury in the Jaguars’ preseason game against the Cleveland Browns. He should return for the team’s offseason activities but after not playing a meaningful snap last year, he enters the 2022 season as a question mark.

Meanwhile, Robinson is currently recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered late in the 2021 season. While he hasn’t had any setbacks, it will be a while before he can return to the football field and he may not be fully ready for Week 1. If you consider that, his omission from FanDuel doesn’t become outlandish and it’s understandable instead.

On the bright side, Etienne had a productive training camp last year and if he can get to pre-injury form, the Jaguars should have a three-down running back that can catch passes. Then, there’s Robinson. Once he returns from injury, he and E-T-N could form one of the most dynamic, young running back duos.

All things considered, Robinson and Etienne had a fair ranking in FanDuel’s list. In fact, the Jaguars should consider adding depth to their running back room this offseason. Having said that, there’s a chance they can move up a few spots later this year if they can perform the way they did before injuries struck.

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