Desperate for running back depth in health, the Jaguars and former Chiefs star in the backfield, Jamaal Charles, maybe a perfect marriage.
Reports Tuesday morning are that the Jags are working out Charles today in North Florida:
The #Jaguars are bringing in running backs given their slew of injuries and source said veteran RB Jamaal Charles is one of them. He’s working out. He averaged 4.3 yards per rush last year in Denver.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 9, 2018
The former third-round pick of the Chiefs is a two-time All-Pro in his previous 10 seasons. However, he has battled knee injuries including, two ACL tears in his NFL career.
Charles was most recently a Denver Bronco a year ago (above), but carried the ball only 69 times in 14 games during a dismal Denver season.
Charles, who will be 32 later this season, has not been in an NFL training camp or with a team to start the year. He has been working out on his own, and waiting for an opportunity. Charles attended the Texas-Oklahoma game Saturday in Dallas rooting on his Longhorns from the sideline.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) October 6, 2018
With Leonard Fournette out of action with his injured hamstring that has kept him out of three of the last four games and will likely keep him out of the Dallas game this week, the Jaguars are in dire straits for running back help.
Veteran T.J. Yeldon was on the field for more than 85% of their plays on Sunday. And while he’s done a decent job carrying the football, he’s not an explosive game-changing back. And most importantly, Yeldon needs a break every now and then from a veteran that can be counted on.
Back to Charles’s knee injuries, he suffered a torn ACL in the left knee in 2011, but came back strong after that to have a 1,500 yard rushing season for Kansas City in 2012. However, in 2015 he tore the ACL in his right knee in a week five game against the Bears and was placed on injured reserve.
Charles was not fully recovered from the ACL until the start of the 2016 season and played in only three games for the Chiefs that year. He ended up having an injured meniscus, as well and was placed on injured reserve again in November of 2016.
He signed a one-year 3.75 million contract with the Broncos for last year but platooned on a bad Denver team. And, the Broncos chose not to re-sign him.
UPDATE: The Jaguars must have been impressed in the workout. Charles has agreed to a one year deal:
Jaguars giving Jamaal Charles a one-year deal, per source. He had been waiting for the right opportunity with a contender – now has it. https://t.co/uf9Sq86heV
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 9, 2018
It’s likely that Charles will be active for the Jaguars game at AT&T Stadium Sunday afternoon.
Jags WR Marqise Lee returns to practice
After losing veteran Alfred Blue in the first half of the 24–10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury, the Jaguars are looking for offensive depth. In some fortunate news, WR Marqise Lee is off of the PUP list and has begun practicing today, roughly one year after suffering from knee damage that sidelined him for the entire 2018 season.
Head coach Doug Marrone made the announcement before practice on Saturday.
— Dov Kleiman (@NFL_DovKleiman) August 17, 2019
First Coast news reporter Ben Murphy got a video of Lee at practice receiving a pass from QB Nick Foles.
— Ben Murphy (@BenMurphyTV) August 17, 2019
Last year, Lee was injured in the first quarter of a preseason game against the Falcons. He was hit by reserve defensive back Damontae Kazee on this play after a reception.
— Kevin Boilard (@247KevinBoilard) August 25, 2018
Lee suffered a torn ACL and went on injured reserve missing the entire season.
Lee became more prominent in Jacksonville’s pass offense in 2017 with 56 catches for 702 yards and three TDs. The Jags are surely going to rely on him this season which could mean he’ll see the field a bit in their third preseason game to get him readjusted to competitive game play.
However, they might not want to risk another potential injury before the season begins. We could see it going either way. We do know that he’ll be a great weapon for Nick Foles to utilize this season.
The return of Lee is coming off the heels of some other good news for the Jags announced earlier this week. Starting left tackle Cam Robinson was also removed from the PUP list on Monday after suffering a torn ACL in Week 2 last season. He has since made enough progress participate in some individual drills and should be ready, along with Lee, for their season opener against the Kansas City Chiefs.
In other injury-related news, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Leonard Fournette, backed up by Thomas Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.
Jaguars searching for RB depth after second preseason game
With preseason game number two in the books, it’s apparent the Jaguars have real issues with running back depth due to injury. This after veteran Alfred Blue left the first half of the 24 – 10 Thursday night loss to the Eagles with an ankle injury and did not return.
Blue carried the ball four times for just five yards has Jacksonville offense once again sputtered behind a makeshift offensive line. Coach Doug Marrone was so concerned about that line situation and their ability to protect/block that starting quarterback Nick Foles and running back Leonard Fournette never saw the field for a single play during Thursday night.
That means that veteran at Thomas Rawls (above Thursday) was called upon to carry the ball a little more, and he did so, seven times for 19 yards including a long run of 11 playing in the first half.
Rawls is a 5th year veteran who had some modest success with the Seahawks, including rushing for 830 yards his rookie year in 2015 with a 5.6 yard per carry average. His numbers tapered off in 2016 – 17 with ankle and foot injuries, as he only played in 21 games in those two years. Rawls was later released and picked up by the Bengals, but injured again last season, and never carried the ball in Cincinnati.
Obviously, the Jaguars are wanting to implement Fournette, as the primary ball carrier, but they will need someone else to spell him on a series or two. Also, Fournette has had durability questions, as he missed parts or all of eight games last year with a hamstring injury.
The Jags were also hoping to bring along Temple rookie running back Ryquell Armstead, but after he carried eight times for 22 yards last week, he suffered a concussion in the preseason opening loss to the Ravens. Armstead hasn’t practiced since, and is still being evaluated with no further update Thursday.
Speaking of updates, we await how serious Blue’s ankle injury is coming off this second preseason game. Meanwhile, the likelihood is that Fournette, backed up by Rawls, will be the two running backs when the Jaguars play at the Dolphins next Thursday night.