Second-year running back Travis Etienne is one of the most intriguing Jacksonville Jaguars players ahead of the 2022 season. He was expected to play a big role in the Jags’ offense last year but a Lisfranc injury put an end to his rookie campaign before it even started. He’s now healthy and ready to become the playmaker the Jags expected when they drafted him 25th overall.
Chris Trapasso of CBS Sports recently drew up a list of players coming off injuries that are in for big years and Etienne made the cut. Trapasso acknowledges that he wasn’t as high on Etienne as a draft prospect as other analysts but concedes that he has the burst and speed to succeed in the NFL. Moreover, he thinks he will look a lot like “Clemson Etienne in 2022” thanks to the offseason additions the Jags made:
"The preseason injury as a rookie was probably a blessing in disguise — Etienne avoided the negative atmosphere derived from Urban Meyer and his coaching staff. Now he enters what, at the very least, will be a semi-competent coaching environment on a team with much more talent on it than it featured a season ago.Jacksonville’s blocking should be improved in large part due to the presence of big-ticket free-agent signing Brandon Scherff, and Trevor Lawrence can’t be worst in Year 2 than he was as a rookie. Jacksonville Etienne will look a lot like Clemson Etienne in 2022."
Etienne pointed out during offseason activities that he feels like his injury is behind him and he didn’t seem to have any limitations during the team’s minicamp. Moreover, he’s recently posted a video on social media of him working out with other running backs such as Ezekiel Elliott (Dallas Cowboys), Dare Ogunbowale (Houston Texans), Melvin Gordon III (Denver Broncos), and Darrel Williams (Arizona Cardinals). Here’s the video in question, where you can see Etienne making cuts at full speed.
Travis Etienne will play an important role in the Jaguars offense in 2022
You wouldn’t have been able to tell that Etienne was coming off a serious injury just by watching the video. The Jaguars’ medical staff will probably continue monitoring Etienne but it doesn’t look like he will have any restrictions in training camp.
Last year, Etienne was supposed to form a dynamic backfield duo alongside James Robinson. However, they both suffered injuries and they will once again have to wait to take the field together, as Robinson is still recovering from a torn Achilles he suffered towards the end of the 2021 season.
In training camp, Etienne will get most of the first-team reps but Ryquell Armstead and rookie Snoop Conner will take his place if he needs to take a breath. In fact, the Jaguars should lean on both Armstead and Cooner to avoid overworking Etienne.
Some say running back is one of the Jags’ biggest strengths ahead of the season while others think they have one of the five worst backfields in the league. Etienne will soon have the chance to prove the first group right.