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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars RB Fournette says having to watch last week- “Was tough”

Florida Football Insiders

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Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Probably the best news, and sighting, on Tuesday in the Jaguars locker room was the return of running back Leonard Fournette from his one-game suspension by the NFL.

A week after having to sit out the 6-0 win over the Colts because of his actions in starting a fight with Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Shaq Lawson the previous week, Fournette is expected to make a significant contribution again starting with Thursday night. That’s when Jacksonville travels to rival Tennessee in a national TV game.

More on that in a second.

First, Fournette met with the media Tuesday afternoon and not surprisingly, talked about how difficult it was to have to watch his team battle the Colts without him, while at his house:

As we wrote in the aftermath of the game, the Jaguar offense, under new leadership with Scott and a lot of each calling the plays and Cody Kessler in as the new quarterback, couldn’t get anything going for four quarters Sunday. Barely 200 yards of offense and nine punts was not nearly good enough.

Now, re-enter their top weapon, Fournette.

Fournette had been running hard since returning for the second time from an injured hamstring that had him sidelined for 7 out of 8 Jaguar games earlier this season. In the Buffalo game, he was approaching a hundred yards and had already scored a couple of touchdowns before his ejection.

Needless to say, as Jacksonville heads to Tennessee for Thursday Night Football, Fournette will probably be the biggest key to Jacksonville’s hope to get some kind of offensive consistency going. When you consider that the Jags running backs ran the ball 21 times for 52 yards last week, Fournette will obviously be a significant upgrade.

At this point, the Jags are in the role of the spoiler, as Tennessee is trying to battle for one of the wild-card spots currently in the AFC. And you know the Titans defense will be keying on #27.

Now that he’s back on Sunday

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jags WR Marqise Lee returns to practice

Abbey Radeka

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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.

First Coast news reporter Ben Murphy got a video of Lee at practice receiving a pass from QB Nick Foles.

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.

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.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars searching for RB depth after second preseason game

Florida Football Insiders

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

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.

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