In the first half of the season, Jaguars rookie running back T.J. Yeldon quickly absorbed the lion's share of backfield carries. Along the way, Yeldon has repetitively demonstrated his utility as an every-down back.
Jaguars' offensive coordinator Greg Olson will be the first to tell you that Yeldon is not the only appreciated rushing threat on the roster, though, he might not be able to convince you with his comments.
"I think Denard Robinson and Bernard are two good runners and obviously Toby has his own set of skills," Olson mentioned insipidly about the rest of his running back stable earlier in the week.
These comments came shortly after Olson sang the praises of his rookie running back -- especially Yeldon's every-down capability. When asked if Yeldon would take the majority of first-team snaps as the team continued preparations for the Baltimore Ravens this Sunday, Olson didn't hesitate with his answer.
"Yeldon takes them until he's winded, to be honest with you," Olson stated at the podium. "We'll continue that way with him because we like a lot of different things that he brings, not just his running skills but also his protection skills and his route-running skills."
Yeldon currently ranks third among NFL rookies in yards from scrimmage, accumulating 589 through the Jaguars' first eight games. Only St. Louis RB Todd Gurley and Oakland WR Amari Cooper have more yards.
Yeldon's 470 rushing yards are the most by a Jaguars rookie running back through the first eight games of a season since Fred Taylor's 493 in 1998 -- pretty good company to be in.
Moving forward, it's not unreasonable to expect T.J. Yeldon's impressive rookie workload to keep growing. Toby Gerhart hasn't been consistently useful in short-yardage situations, and Denard Robinson has seen limited opportunities due to lingering injuries as well as Yeldon's success.
In half a season, Yeldon has demonstrated patience beyond his years, as well as a stubbornness in pass protection situations that you don't normally see from NFL rookie running backs. Against the Ravens on Sunday, look for Yeldon to remain firmly planted on the field -- even in goal line and other short-yardage situations.
Beyond this Sunday, look for Yeldon to continue growing into his role as an all-around franchise running back.