Jaguars rookie running back Leonard Fournette looked a lot like the Leonard Fournette the Jags want and need to build their offense around, while running against the Seahawks on Sunday.
For the first time since he suffered an ankle injury in a Week 6 loss to the Rams, Fournette ran for more than 4 yards per carry, gaining 101 yards on 21 carries (4.21) during a pivotal 30-24 Jaguars victory.
Fournette also scored a touchdown, only his second since he came back from a three-week layoff to get his ankle right, on a day when he suddenly regained all the power and agility his ankle injury had cost him.
“It was exciting to see,’’ Jaguars coach Doug Marrone said of Fournette’s return to form. “He’s coming off a nagging injury I guess would be the best way to put it, but he’s been working hard.
“So it was good to see him go out there and make those tough runs. That’s going to be important for us going down the stretch, being able to run like he can.’’
And make no mistake, Fournette was indeed running the way he can again, displaying the power and tackle-breaking ability that made him so attractive to the Jaguars in the first place.
According to Pro Football Focus, Fournette forced four missed tackles on his 21 rushes, which was tied for the fifth most by a back this week, and the most since he returned to action in Week 10.
That’s an indication that Fournette is getting healthy and regaining his old form, and of course there couldn’t be a better time for that to happen than right now.
The Jaguars have done a good job of maintaining their momentum while Fournette nursed himself back to health, but they’re going to need Fournette at his best to put a good finish on this season.
Given the way Fournette ran against one of the tougher defenses in the league on Sunday, it’s reasonable to believe Fournette can still give the Jags precisely what they need.
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