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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars 2018 Position Group Breakdown: Running Back

Zach Goodall

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May 22, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) takes the handoff from quarterback Blake Bortles (5) during organized team activities at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

In an attempt to predict the Jacksonville Jaguars 53 man roster, the crew here at Locked On Jaguars is breaking down each position group as we get ready for the team’s mini camp. On Monday, we covered the quarterbacks, which you can check out here.

Today we will cover the team’s running back depth chart. Pretty much, all you need to know is that Leonard Fournette’s work load is likely to increase in his sophomore campaign, as he carried the ball only 268 times (albeit, in 13 games) in his rookie season. I’d expect that number to increase significantly with Chris Ivory off the roster and Fournette being healthy entering the season.

Fournette had a very good rookie season, despite receiving mixed reviews from analysts. He finished the year with 1040 yards and 9 TDs, as well as 36 receptions for 302 yards and a receiving touchdown. Many analysts and football folks were quick to note he only averaged 3.9 yards per carry, but when looking at the context behind his low YPC, that statistic is proven to be flawed, and shouldn’t be used against him when grading his rookie season performance.

With an improved interior offensive line, where the Jaguars ran the ball on 64% of carries last year, Fournette is poised to have his name near the top of the NFL’s 2018 rushing leaders. The team signed All-Pro left guard Andrew Norwell to a five year, $66.5 million contract in free agency and drafted NC State OL Will Richardson in the fourth round, who will likely compete for the right guard position this year.

Fournette is the Jaguars offense’s silver lining, as they are a heavy power-run team, but who else will make the roster to provide depth and change the pace of the run game from time to time?

Projected running back depth chart

*Note: Italics = starter

RB: Leonard Fournette, T.J. Yeldon, Corey Grant

FB: Tommy Bohanon

Unlike last year where they carried four running backs, I project the Jaguars to kick off the 2018 season with only three RBs on the roster. Coming off of a 253 yard, two touchdown season as Fournette’s primary backup, T.J. Yeldon is the incumbent #2 on the running back depth chart. He provides a presence in the pass game as well, both as an extraordinary blocker and a solid receiver. Head coach Doug Marrone had this to say of Yeldon after an OTA workout the other day:

I think T.J. [Yeldon] gives you the best of both worlds a little bit. He has looked good out there. Yesterday, he made an excellent cut to set up a free hitter. A safety that was in the box set him up and then scooted inside. That is the kind of things you’re looking to see.

Marrone went on to say he’d “wouldn’t have a problem” with Yeldon carrying the load if Fournette goes down with an injury, noting he has carried the ball 15-20 times per game in the past.

Corey Grant’s role will likely increase as well with Ivory off the roster and moving up the RB3. He has maily been a special teams contributor and trick play extraordinare during his three seasons with the team, but has quietly received 68 handoffs for 414 yards and three touchdowns. Grant offers speed that neither backs ahead of him possess, and can be the true change-of-pace back in certain situations. He signed a second-round tender with the team, worth about $2.9 million in 2018.

As for fullback, there has been no competition brought in to compete with 2017 starter Tommy Bohanon. Unless the Jaguars like a running back or tight end enough to warrant keeping him on the roster but want to try him at fullback, Bohanon will remain the team’s starter.

Zach Goodall covers the Jacksonville Jaguars on the Locked On Jaguars Podcast and on BigCatCountry.com. Follow him on Twitter @zach_goodall.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Patriots Week Two Inactives: Fournette Out, Campbell Starts

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 18, 2018; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars defensive tackle Calais Campbell (93) reacts during the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots have released their inactive lists for the game today.  For the Jaguars star running back, Leonard Fournette is out today with a hamstring injury. However, Calais Campbell who was added late to the injury report with a knee injury is expected to start today.

There was speculation before the game that Campbell could be out. It is possible the Jaguars limit his snaps this week.

Jaguars running back TJ Yeldon will start ahead of Fournette. Corey Grant will also look to get in on the fun after only having one touch last week against the Giants.

JAGUARS INACTIVE REPORT

One surprise on the Jaguars inactive list is rookie linebacker, Leon Jacobs. Although he was injured this week with the ankle injury, he was thought to have been progressing. Look for linebacker Larentee McCray to take his place at SAM linebacker.

 

PATRIOTS INACTIVE REPORT

 

For the Patriots they are without their starting right tackle in Marcus Cannon. They also get back their starting running back in Rex Burkhead as well as their first-round pick, rookie running back Sony Michel.

 

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars Promote Running Back Brandon Wilds, Release WR Rashad Greene

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 30, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back runs the ball Brandon Wilds (38) in the first quarter against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

According to Mark Long of the Associated Press, the Jacksonville Jaguars today have promoted Running Back Brandon Wilds from the practice squad to the 53-man roster. As a corresponding move, the Jaguars have released veteran Wide Receiver Rashad Greene Sr.

This move should not come as too much of a surprise as starting running back Leonard Fournette has been nursing an injured hamstring all week, and TJ Yeldon was added to the injury report yesterday with an ankle injury.

The move might indicate that either Fournette will not be playing in tomorrows matchup against the New England Patriots, or Wilds will simply be insurance in case the star running back goes down again. Either way, it is something to keep an eye on as the Jaguars announce their inactive report around 90 minutes prior to kickoff tomorrow.

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Jacksonville Jaguars

Jaguars vs. Patriots: Friday Injury Reports, Fournette Questionable

Demetrius Harvey

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Aug 9, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) takes a handoff from quarterback Blake Bortles (5) during the first quarter against the New Orleans Saints at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots have officially released their Friday game status injury reports ahead of their week two matchup in Jacksonville, Florida. For the Jaguars coming into this game against the Patriots, all eyes have been on star running back Leonard Fournette as he nurses a hamstring injury. Today, the Jaguars officially listed him as questionable. Fournette has not been able to practice the entire week and will have to prove to the Jaguars training staff as well as the coaching staff he is good to go.

If Fournette is not cleared look for TJ Yeldon to take over as the Jaguars starting running back this weekend. It is also likely the Jaguars would elevate running back Brandon Wilds from the practice squad as they currently only have two running backs besides Fournette on the 53-man roster. Corey Grant would also more than likely receive his bulk of the carries in the event Fournette cannot go.

As for the rest of the Jaguars players, the only player who was a late addition to the Jaguars injury report was running back TJ Yeldon. He, however, will play this Sunday as that injury has seemingly been deemed minor.

Below are the Jaguars and Patriots official gameday statuses:

JAGUARS:

 

PATRIOTS:

QUESTIONABLE
RB Rex Burkhead – Concussion (Limited participant)
T Marcus Cannon – Calf (Limited participant)
DB Keion Crossen – Hamstring (Limited participant)
RB Sony Michel – Knee (Limited participant)

For the Patriots their most notable players on the injury report are running backs Burkhead and Michel along with tackle Marcus Cannon. Burkhead being out this week against the Jaguars for the Patriots is notable due to the lack of weapons at the running back position. If Burkhead and Michel cannot go the Patriots will likely lean on running back James White for the bulk of the carries. I would, however, anticipate at least one of the two running backs to be active this Sunday.

If Marcus Cannon is out this week, then the Patriots will turn to LaAdrian Waddle at the right tackle position. Waddle is a journeyman and more than likely would struggle against the Jaguars front four.

For the Jaguars as well as the Patriots both teams are relatively healthy. The areas to watch will continue to be the running back positions and how the Jaguars, as well as the Patriots, handle the situation. With Fournette as a true game-time decision, keep a close eye on the Jaguars inactive report 90 minutes before kickoff this Sunday.

 

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