Today is an important day for the health of the Jaguars star running back and for the future of their offense in 2018. That’s because, Wednesday is when the Jaguars return to full practice in preparation for their match up with the Colts. And the belief is that it’s the day that for the first time in over a month, Leonard Fournette will be out there with his teammates, as a part of full practice.
This would be the first time that Fournette would have been able or allowed in a full workout, since the week of the Jets game played back on September 30th. That’s when Fournette re-aggravated his right hamstring injury in the second half of Jacksonville’s win.
Then, as we reported first in this item on October 10th, once Fournette had re-injured the hamstring, the Jaguars basically decided they would shut him down over the next few weeks through their London trip and game against the Eagles and then, the bye week the following week.
Well, that bye week was last week.
So now, after not having gone through a serious practice in almost six weeks, if Fournette is still not able to be a full participant in the Wednesday workout this week, then it’s obvious he seriously tore the hamstring earlier in that September game.
The same source familiar with the coaching staff and the situation that correctly told us about Fournette likely being rested all the way through the bye week is saying to F.F.I. that today and tomorrow are critical for the future of his season. The source added though that the belief is he’s made significant progress with the rest and the healing of the hamstring injury. However, everyone wants to see how he looks.
Clearly, the Jaguars offense has plummeted. They have only scored 46 total points in the four games since Fournette went back to the sidelines with the injury. That includes three games where they scored only one offensive touchdown. The run game has been almost non-existent and therefore, the play-action pass game for QB Blake Bortles, the same.
Over the last few weeks, VP of football Tom Coughlin and GM David Caldwell have tried to bring other veterans in to help the running back situation to go along with backup T.J. Yeldon. However, Jamaal Charles was only a Jaguar for a couple of weeks before being released again. And, the Jags traded for Carlos Hyde from the Cleveland Browns, who did play but did not have a lot success in his first game in London against the Eagles.
So, with Yeldon and Hyde available, there’s not as much pressure on Fournette to play this game with the Colts. Then again, coach Doug Marrone and offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett have to be anxious to get Fournette and his explosiveness back in their backfield for the stretch run.
Again, actions are going to be bigger than anything Marrone says to the media. That’s because Marrone repeatedly said to the media in the weeks leading up to the Texans and Eagles game that he felt Fournette still had a chance to play. However, in both of those cases they were obviously never intending to risk it with his hamstring before the rest and the bye week.
Fournette hurt the hamstring originally, all the way back in week one in the Jaguars victory over the Giants.
Jacksonville has lost four straight and five of the last six games to fall out of the division lead and two games under .500.
So, the time is now, if Fournette can help them get back into the playoff hunt.
And now, we wait to see if all of the rest in the rehab of the last four weeks has paid off and Fournette is ready to practice later on Wednesday
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