The Jaguars got the not unexpected-bad news Wednesday morning, when the one-game suspension appeal of running back Leonard Fournette was denied by the NFL.
Fournette had been suspended for his actions during Sunday’s 24 – 21 lost to the Buffalo Bills, when he came off the bench, ran across the field and started a fight with Buffalo defensive in Shaq Lawson.
The Jaguars confirmed Wednesday morning that the NFL rejected Fournette’s explanation, as to why he should not sit the upcoming game with the Indianapolis Colts at TIAA Bank Field on Sunday.
Fournette and Lawson were both ejected from the game. And then, the real craziness started, as they tried to fight each again in the tunnel of New Era Field heading up to their respective locker rooms. Lawson particularly, had to be separated by Bills team and security officials.
In suspending Fournette for the game without pay, NFL vice president of football operations Jon Runyan wrote in part, “your actions adversely reflected on the NFL and have no place in the game.”
Fournette took full responsibility with the media after the game for his role in the fight and ejection. He had rushed for 95 yards and 2 touchdowns. And worse, the Jaguars were clearly in position to possibly win the game, when he got ejected.
There is no disputing that the Jaguars offense has been better the last three games, since Fournette returned after a five game absence due to the hamstring injury. Jacksonville has done a full shakeup this week, including firing offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett on Monday. And then, later in the day benching QB Blake Bortles in favor of backup Cody Kessler.
In his absence, the Jags will turn to veteran back up T.J. Yeldon, who’s been solid, but not spectacular, playing in place of Fournette while he nursed his hamstring injury earlier in the year.
Newly-acquired running back Carlos Hyde, who’s been frustrated with his lack of carries and playing time, will also see more of both in Sunday’s rematch with Indianapolis.
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