The Jacksonville Jaguars offense was built to run through Leonard Fournette. All the pieces set around him — high-priced interior offensive linemen, a grouping of wide receivers tailor made to create short second and third down opportunities, a stifling defense — but with a recurring hamstring injury, that burden could fall on quarterback Blake Bortles.
Asked about Fournette’s hamstring injury that has caused him to miss the majority of or all of the Jaguars’ first four games, head coach Doug Marrone didn’t have any answers.
“It’s the same thing. There’s a thing that is pulling at it. It is legit, there’s something there. We just have to do everything we can to get that out, whatever that thing is that feels like it catches. That’s all I know, I don’t know the doctor-talk about it. I’m trying to give you the layman’s talk. He has this thing that feels like it catches. He’s not able open up ... If I knew exactly what the deal was and I could tell you [Fournette will miss] three, six, ten [games] or IR or whatever, I would. I just don’t know. Those injuries are tough. We talk about it by position, by player and we have talked about it every other way. I thought he was looking good. You guys were out there. You saw him working. It’s different when you’re playing in a game. The game is different.”
Don’t be surprised if the Jaguars choose to put Fournette on short-term injured reserve. NFL teams can return up to two players from injured reserve, however they must be on injured reserve for at least eight weeks. That means if Fournette was placed on injured reserve this week, he’d be eligible to come back for the Week 13 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
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.
Also, the Jaguars will likely look to the waiver wire for a third running back to add to the mix. Brandon Wilds may have potential, but he’s not ready to shoulder as much of the load as needed with only T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant available.