Day two of the Jaguars mini-camp concluded Wednesday morning in North Florida and new quarterback Nick Foles met with the media to update the status of several subjects.
While Foles talked about getting acclimated to his new surroundings and teammates, it was specifically when he was asked about RB Leonard Fournette, that he wanted to make clear that arguably Jacksonville’s best offensive weapon is someone he’s excited about playing with and seeing what he can do this fall:
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) June 12, 2019
“Leonard’s awesome, dude. He’s a really smart player. He’s a great dude to be around. He’s got a whole other life outside of football. You know, divin’ and spear fishin’. It’s always fun to learn more about a person. More than about a football player…. We’re all more than football players. I try to tell guys all the time in the locker room, if your identity is soley in football, you’re going to be lost….. Lenoard’s that sort of guy.”
This isn’t the first time the relationship of Foles and Fournette has recently been brought up. As we wrote previously, VP of Football Tom Coughlin also made mention that they have been getting together at Fournette’s Jacksonville home to go over the installation of the offense and watch game tape, etc
While this is not uncommon among quarterbacks and their new teammates around the NFL, it still has to be reassuring for Jaguar fans the Foles understands Fournette has a critical role in helping the Jacksonville offense bounce back.
The third-year back out of LSU had a disappointing second season to say the least. After a 1,000 yard rookie season that helped the Jags make the playoffs, Fournette suffered a week one hamstring injury at the Giants and proceeded to miss all or most of the next seven games with it. Fournette was also ejected in the second half of the November loss at Buffalo for fighting and subsequently suspended by the NFL for the next week. He finished with just 439 yards on the season and was a huge disappointment.
Meanwhile. With the hiring of his former quarterback coach in Philadelphia, John DeFilippo, know that the offense will function better, if Fournette can pound the ball between the tackles and set up some play action down-filled throws.
Fournette can also become similarly valuable and get back to something the Jacksonville had a 2017, and that’s being used as a punishing back in the second half of games when the Jags are trying to protect the lead and run the clock.
And at least for now, all the right things are apparently happening off field between QB and RB to make that happen.
Jaguars will play LT Cam Robinson Thursday night
A positive sign for the Jaguars offensive line will happen Thursday night’s third preseason game with the Dolphins. That’s when, previously injured left tackle Cam Robinson will see his first game action since tearing his ACL in your ago.
The Jaguars confirmed a little over an hour prior to the game that the former second-round pick out of Alabama, who was just activated off the PUP list 10 days ago, will be in there at least for a little while:
Tonight, Cam Robinson (@crobinson_68) will start at left tackle, making his first appearance since sustaining a knee injury on Sept. 16, 2018.
He’ll be on a strict “snap count,” so you may see him come out mid-series. Part of the plan.
Excited to see the big fella out there!
— Tad Dickman (@TDickman89) August 22, 2019
Robinson tore his ACL in the Jags week 2 win over the Patriots last season and was placed on injured reserve. He has been rehabbing and battling back all through the offseason and into training camp.
Coach Doug Marrone originally sounded pessimistic about 2 weeks ago on Robinson being activated off the pup list and available for the Jaguars in the week one regular-season opener with the Kansas City Chiefs.
However, whether that was motivational or Robinson just stepped up his rehab in progress, within several days he was activated and practicing with the team on a limited basis. The Jaguars offensive line was ravaged a year ago with injuries including too high price free agent guard, Andrew Norwell.
So far, prize free agent quarterback Nick Foles has yet to take a snap in game action is preseason, but the use of Robinson to protect his blind side may be an indication that Foles will be out there for at least a series or so against the Dolphins.
Jacksonville is also looking forward to welcoming back tailback Leonard Fournette, who has yet to take a snap in the preseason himself. It’s unclear, as to whether Fournette , who missed parts or all of 8 games with a right hamstring injury a year ago. will actually see the field in South Florida. But, if Robinson is playing, then it’s possible he might also be out there for at least a series.
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.