Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette returned to action in Sunday’s game against the New York Jets, but he barely made it to halftime before his hamstring injury knocked him out of the game again. In Week 1 against the New York Giants Fournette tried to make a cut upfield and got up gingerly holding the back of his leg. He missed the rest of the game and the following two weeks with a hamstring injury.
In his post game press conference head coach Doug Marrone admitted he was concerned about the injury, which is understandable since a hamstring is usually something that’s going to linger for a while. Fournette will almost certainly miss this upcoming week’s game against the red hot Kansas City Chiefs (who play on Monday Night Football) and I’d be surprised if he returns before the bye week. With him coming back and getting hurt immediately, I’d imagine the Jaguars want to take it slow with him so he’s at least available later in the season as they’re making a playoff push and he’s not constantly re-aggravating it.
That being said, I think the Jaguars should place Leonard Fournette on injured reserve, acquire another running back and plan to bring Fournette back after the bye week. NFL teams can return up to two players from injured reserve, however they must be on IR for at least eight weeks. That means if Fournette was placed on IR this week, he’d be eligible to come back for the Week 13 game against the Indianapolis Colts (if my math is right).
This would allow Fournette plenty of time to be fully healthy and be ready to go for the late season push and the likely playoff run, where he’d be needed the most. The Jaguars should also acquire another running back while he’s out, be it via trade or just signing a free agent that’s out there. No disrespect to Brandon Wilds, but they’ll need four backs on the roster for now so they’re not stuck in another situation like against the Tennessee Titans where one guy is knicked up, the other guy isn’t a full time back and then you have a guy just called up.
Who they’d go out and get, I have no idea, but it won’t be Le’veon Bell.