By our headline alone, if you are a fan of the Jaguars and/or a fantasy owner of his, you may not want to read more on the injured hamstring and status of Leonard Fournette.
Then again, of course you do.
With Jags coach Doug Marrone already Wednesday ruling Fournette out again early in the week prior to Sunday’s game with the Cowboys, there is obviously concern about the re-injury of his right hamstring.
Head Coach Doug Marrone meets the media prior to today's practice. https://t.co/3uU0NCpsRC
— #DUUUVAL (@Jaguars) October 10, 2018
Fournette suffered the re-injury at some point in the second half after carrying the ball 10 times for 30 yards in the Jets home game two weeks ago.
Fournette hurt the hammy originally in week one at the Giants. And, the Jaguars had taken the risk of putting him back in the lineup after sitting him for the Patriots and Titans games, the previous two weeks. This as opposed to, waiting at least one more week to let it heal and then have him try to play in Kansas City last week.
So, that backfired on Jacksonville, and has cost Fournette at least two more games (Chiefs last week and now, Cowboys this week).
And we say “at least,” because we have a source that we’ll describe as “having knowledge of the Jaguars thinking” that says to us: because of the re-injury to the hamstring after only two games rest last time, and an upcoming trip to London to play the Eagles followed by a bye week, the Jags may consider sitting their top running back through the end of October.
Now, the source didn’t say this was definitive, because it’s gong to be contingent on Fournette being evaluated mid-next week, prior to the game with the Texans. However, if he’s not significantly better, then Fournette will likely be inactive for that game, as well.
Then becomes the question: would you fly him (along with the team) all the way to London for the game with the Eagles in hopes that he’s able to practice and play at Wembley Stadium vs. sitting Fournette for a fourth straight game, and getting the bye week?
Then, you would have Fournette’s hamstring on five weeks rest and rehab for the November 11th division road game at Indianapolis and beyond.
Again, we get that it’s drastic to think he would miss four straight games and six of seven total, but if we are talking possibly re-aggravation by playing against Houston or in London, then it’s basically a completely lost season at that point.
Another factor is: how well does newly signed veteran RB Jamaal Charles do starting with the this week and beyond in helping T.J. Yeldon share the load and possible success?
If that tandem does well, and the Jags beat the Cowboys, there’s less pressure to rush Fournette back, too.
Again, next week will be critical, but don’t be surprised is the Jaguars go “overly cautious” to have a fully healthy Fournette for November and December.
Report- Jaguars DB Jalen Ramsey demanding trade
The continued soap opera of Jaguars defensive back Jalen Ramsey had another chapter on Sunday and now, the Pro Bowl defensive back has apparently demanded a trade.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport says that Ramsey’s agent contacted the club Sunday night after the team’s latest loss, 13 – 12 to the Houston Texans, wanting his client to be moved:
Sources: #Jaguars Pro Bowl CB Jalen Ramsey has requested a trade from the team. This stems from his frustration with how he’s being used and from a confrontation with coach Doug Marrone on Sunday. This has been steadily building.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 16, 2019
The latest dust-up involving the former Florida State first round pick and the club happened on the sidelines in the first quarter of the game. That’s when Ramsey was apparently upset the coach Doug Marrone did not challenge a completion to Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins on a key third-down with Ramsey covering him.
Television replays showed the ball may very well have been on the ground and the pass incomplete. Marrone and Ramsey had to be separated, not once but twice, after Marrone confronted him on the bench next to teammates:
Lets check in on the 0-1 Jaguars. Jalen Ramsey vs Doug Marrone? Oh pic.twitter.com/hJ7oe2XyAP
— Jason McIntyre (@jasonrmcintyre) September 15, 2019
Then, Ramsey came back to argue with Marrone, while he was standing near midfield resuming his coaching duties. And, he had to be walked back to the bench area by an assistant coach.
The ongoing saga included reports last season that the Jaguars have been shopping Ramsey themselves for possible premium draft picks during a dismal 5 – 11 finish.
Ramsey was also suspended for a week of training camp a year ago for conduct detrimental to the team after he screamed at Jaguars beat reporter Philip Heilman. Heilman was filming an altercation between teammates Yannick Ngakoue and Dante Fowler after a training camp practice.
Ramsey is making $3.6 million for this season, earlier in April the Jags picked up Ramsey’s $13.7 million option for next season.
The Jaguars send a message to their locker room last October when they dealt Fowler, former number 1 pick defensive end out of Florida to the L.A. Rams. So, it is not too far-fetched to think that VP of Football Tom Coughlin and Marrone would do the same with Ramsey soon.
However it’s not likely that something like that would happen this week, as the Jaguars are hosting the Tennessee Titans in the Thursday night game at TIAA Bank Field.
Credit Jaguars Doug Marrone for gambling on two point play
All too often, coaches deserve criticism for being way too conservative or not being willing to take any chances. So, when a coach does what Doug Marrone did in the final :30 Sunday in Houston, we say “raise a glass for him.”
To set the scene: the Jaguars had played a pretty subpar offensive game for much of the day behind rookie backup quarterback Gardner Minshew. However, Minshew rallied the team in the final two minutes down 13 – 6 to get into scoring range. This included Minshew scrambling on his own and running 18 yards down to the Houston at 13-yard-line with :52 left.
Then with :30 left, Minshew found second-year receiver D.J. Chark alone in the back of the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown to pull Jacksonville within one point.
And that’s when Marrone, the Jags third-year head coach, decided to gamble on trying to win the game, right then.
Marrone called for a two-point play, and it was briefly halted when Texans coach Bill O’Brien called time out. Still, after the brief break and time to think about it, Marrone stuck with his plan and did not try to tie the game with a Josh Lambo extra point.
Instead, out of the shotgun formation Minshew handed inside to power back Leonard Fournette, who was stopped by a Texans double team tackle led by safety Justin Reid, just short of the goal line.
— Houston Texans (@HoustonTexans) September 15, 2019
That stop preserved the win for Houston and dropped the Jags 0-2.
After the game was done, Marrone met with the media and almost immediately was asked about the risk he took going for the two-point conversion, especially on a road. Marone answered that he had been contemplating going for two the entire time the Jags were driving inside the final two minutes.
Doug Marrone said he made the decision before the final drive that if the #Jaguars scored he was going to go for two.
— Phillip Heilman (@phillip_heilman) September 15, 2019
As for Fournette, he said postgame that he felt like he had reached the ball across the goal line, but briefly, to give Jacksonville a 14 – 13 lead. Alas, the officials didn’t see it and replays couldn’t clearly show him getting the ball across.
No matter that goes as a loss, Marrone was trying to win a game that his team had no business being in.
This is especially, with the loss of QB Nick Foles to a broken clavicle last week, and then, not playing the game with the likes of DE Yannick Ngakoue, DB A.J. Bouye, WR Marqise Lee and LT Cam Robinson, who are all injured and still trying to recover.
So, shorthanded, and off a season that fell apart at 5-11 last year, Marrone sent the message to his team: “I want to win, right now.”
But. the Texans stopped it.
Yes, you can question the play call/formation to hand Fournette the ball.
However, you cannot argue with a coach showing guts to go for victory, when his team needs a spark.
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