Up front, fantasy football owners of star Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette are not going to want to read the rest of this. We understand that.
Still, we have a tip and there is also previous evidence/actions that lead us to believe that Fournette will either have a limited role in Sunday’s game at Cleveland or gulp, might be….inactive again.
The reason? His ankle.
First the facts, and what’s gone on the last few weeks.
Fournette came off of essentially 20 days of resting and rehabbing the injured ankle suffered in the fourth quarter of Jacksonville’s October 15th loss to the Rams, when he suited up last week against the L.A. Chargers.
Now here’s where you must study what’s gone on since that October injury, as indication for why we wrote what we wrote above.
The rookie out of LSU insisted the week after the Rams game that he was going to try to play in the next game at Indianapolis. Also, coach Doug Marrone talked in the days leading up to the Colts game about “progress” he was making, blah, blah, blah.
We now know that the Jaguars had decided late that week to rest Fournette against the Colts and then, also during their bye week, because they admitted as such after the game. A game, which by the way, they won easily without him.
Further, we now know that because Fournette had missed a treatment session for the ankle, and with a couple of other transgression leading up to the next game with Cincinnati, he was made inactive for what the Jaguars termed “disciplinary reasons.”
It came out after the Jags victory over the Bengals that veteran leaders like Calais Campbell had been informed at least two days before the game by Marrone, that this was going to be done. But, it was kept a secret until 90 minutes before kickoff.
Again, the Jaguars won the game.
Still, we have a track record of Jacksonville keeping their true intentions with Fournette private until the last possible minute.
Then, last week, Fournette carried 17 times for 33 yards and especially in the second half and the OT, didn’t seem to run with quite the explosiveness we’ve seen throughout his college and brief pro career. Some credit goes to the Chargers defense, but after the game it has come out that his right ankle is sore and still hurting. Still, that win put Jaguars at 6-3 and in first place in the AFC South headed to the weekend.
So, now this week, Fournette has again been limited in practice preparing for a game in cold weather and possible snow in Cleveland Sunday.
We have a source close to the whole situation, who told us with regard to Fournette’s ankle “it’s still not right.” Further, the source did not dismiss that possibility that T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory may be about to get more of the work load for this week’s game against the win-less Browns.
And it’s possible, again possible, that Jaguars brass, including V.P. of Football Tom Coughlin weighing in, feel that they can win this game at Cleveland without out Fournette. And, they want to take advantage of a few more days of non-contact for Fournette prior to the stretch run of crucial games.
Then again, they make give Fournette a pain injection and try to use him as much as possible early in the game until that wears off. Just don’t expect a straight answer out of Marrone or anyone else on any of that.
And, there’s still around 48 hours to make a decision, but don’t be surprised if Fournette is either a part time player or “bundled up” in a Jaguars parka on the sideline inactive Sunday.
We’ll all see together.