Jacksonville Jaguars star running back Leonard Fournette suffered a hamstring injury in the team’s narrow Week 1 win over the New York Giants, and it appears he’s aggravated the injury in Week 4.
Leonard Fournette is one of the Jacksonville Jaguars most important players, and while the Jags looked fine without him in a surprising Week 2 win over the New England Patriots, they struggled mightily in Week 3 without his services in the backfield. Jacksonville mustered just six points in an ugly 9-6 loss to the rival Tennessee Titans, dropping their record to 2-1.
In Week 1, Fournette suffered a hamstring injury against the New York Giants after catching three passes and averaging 4.6 yards per carry on nine total attempts. After making an effort to play against New England and Tennessee, Fournette was held out as an inactive, but he was able to return in Week 4 against the New York Jets.
Sadly, hamstring injuries are tricky and have a way of being aggravated shortly after a player returns. That’s exactly what happened to Fournette, who exited the Jaguars game against the Jets with hamstring tightness and was questionable to return.
Fournette averaged 80 rushing yards per game and scored 10 touchdowns from scrimmage in his rookie season as a highly-touted fourth overall pick out of LSU. With Allen Robinson now on the Chicago Bears, Fournette was expected to be the Jaguars most important piece on offense to support Blake Bortles, but this hamstring injury threatens to derail his sophomore campaign.
There is little doubt that Fournette is one of the toughest players in the NFL, in addition to being one of the league’s most talented young running backs. However, the Jaguars need to be smart about monitoring his hamstring injury. Every game is important, but the Jaguars are the favorites in the AFC South and can do enough to win without him, as they showed in Week 2 against the Pats. Managing his health for the remainder of the season should be a priority.
Before exiting the game with another hamstring issue, Fournette was struggling against a difficult Jets run defense, churning out 30 yards on 11 carries for an average of 2.7 yards per attempt. T.J. Yeldon will continue to take the brunt of the Jaguars carries with Fournette out, and Bortles must trust Donte Moncrief to pace the offense as the No. 1 wide receiver with Fournette injured again.
Hopefully Fournette can get healthy sooner rather than later for this Jaguars team, especially since it’s such a shame to see a young player struggling with a tricky lower-body injury.