When the Jacksonville Jaguars made running back Travis Etienne the 25th overall pick of the 2021 NFL Draft, they thought they were getting a dual-threat that could make an impact in both their rushing attack and their passing game. Unfortunately, the former Clemson Tiger suffered a Lisfranc injury in the preseason that ended his rookie campaign before it started. On the bright side, he should be “up and rolling” for the 2021 season.
Etienne recently appeared on the O-Zone podcast and told host John Oehser that he’s not quite 100 percent but should be ready for training camp. He adds that he has been doing a bit of cutting and has been working out. Later in the sitdown, E-T-N said he sees himself as a playmaker and will contribute any way he can.
"I feel like I’m a playmaker. Put the ball in my hands, I make plays. Whether you hand it to me or you throw the ball to me. The ball in my head, I’ve got one thing in my mind that’s the endzone, so I feel like, just can’t wait to get back on the field getting scoring touchdowns again. I feel like if a coach needs me to run the ball 30 times I can do that. I feel like me, just being me, I get better throughout the game. And when you were to play it down, that’s when I feel like my position start to shine."
You can’t blame Etienne for being ecstatic about returning to the football field. After all, this is the first time throughout his entire football career that he’s suffered a serious injury and had to miss games because of it. That’s how football players are wired. They are driven and want to compete. The fact that he will make his regular-season debut in the NFL should make his return even sweeter. Here’s a clip of the conversation.
The Jaguars need Travis Etienne to be 100 percent for the 2021 season.
The Jaguars desperately need Etienne to be 100 percent healthy. Fellow running back James Robinson tore his Achilles near the end of the 2021 season and might not be ready for Week 1, so Etienne could get a significant amount of playing time from the get-go.
Having said that, the coaching staff can’t overwork Etienne right off the bat. Even though he’s coming off his first serious injury, that doesn’t mean the Jaguars can give him 30 touches a game. Instead, the team’s brass must acquire another running back that can spell him from time to time while Robinson recovers. They can either spend a late-round pick on the position or sign one of the veterans still available in the free-agent market.
The Jaguars will have to find a balance with Etienne. The offense could definitely use him but they can’t expose him to further injury. Either way, they should be as thrilled as he is to have him back for the 2022 season.