Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has missed most of the 2018 season so far, dealing with a hamstring injury. Fournette practiced in back-to-back practices this week for the first time since he was healthy and all indicates so far are that he will be ready to play on Sunday against the Indianapolis Colts.
So the question now becomes if Fournette is healthy, do you ease him in or do you give him a full workload right out of the gate.
“You’re asking me if he is able to play, are we going to kind of hold back or just kind of work him into it? We are full-boring everybody. Once a guy is ready to play, that has to be our expectation,” Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone said on Wednesday when asked if the team planned to limit Fournette if he plays on Sunday.
“I think you get into trouble when you put a player on the field and he is not able to live up to the expectation that you have for him meaning that all of a sudden now if something happens, it’s kind of like a built-in excuse. That’s the way I’ve always viewed it. I have always told players [if someone says], ‘I’m going to go out there, but I don’t feel like whatever ...’ What does that mean? If they say, ‘I’m not 100 percent, I can’t do what’s expected of me.’ Well, then, I can’t put him on the field.”
There have been some questions about when Fournette would be ready after he left the game against the New York Jets in Week 4 with the same injury, even some who thought he could have gone against the Philadelphia Eagles in London, but it always felt like the target for his full return would be after the bye week.
As Marrone says, if he’s healthy he’s healthy, so don’t hold back.