A day after the 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills, the Jaguars continue to make headlines, one negative way after another. This time it involves a league suspension.
More on that in a second.
First, after firing offense of coordinator Nathaniel Hackett in the morning, coach Doug Marrone announced later Monday that Scott Milanovich, the team’s quarterback coach, will take over the play-calling. He further announced that QB Blake Bortles will be going to the bench in favor of backup Cody Kessler for this week’s game with the Colts.
Then, on Monday evening, it was learned that the NFL has decided to suspend running back Leonard Fournette for that Colts game this week for instigating a fight on the Buffalo sideline during the third quarter of the game.
Official release and statement on Leonard Fournette’s one-game suspension: pic.twitter.com/JrRyPabyGl
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 27, 2018
Fournette came across the field from the Jacksonville sideline and threw punches at Buffalo defensive lineman Shaq Lawson after a scrum of players got around each other pushing and shoving. This was following a near touchdown in the corner of the end zone by Jaguars receiver Donte Moncreif.
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.
Fournette has three days to appeal the suspension and likely will. And there is precedent in his favor, especially if a player has been ejected, that he may get the one-game suspension reduced to simply a bigger fine.
If the suspension is upheld, and the Jaguars will count more heavily on veteran backup T.J. Yeldon and newly acquired Carlos Hyde against Indianapolis.
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