Although Leonard Fournette first suffered his hamstring injury in Week 1 against the New York Giants, the Jacksonville Jaguars proceeded to win that game. They also knocked off the New England Patriots in Week 2 and in turn, it seemed as though there was no reason to rush back the 23-year-old.
Yet here we are after seven games played and the Jaguars sit with a 3-4 record, two games back in the AFC South. Fournette attempted to come back from his injury in Week 4 against the New York Jets, but was forced from the game after 11 carries and has remained out since that point. Jacksonville has now lost three-straight games heading into Week 8 and opted to swing a trade with the Cleveland Browns for running back Carlos Hyde.
The team’s addition of Hyde leads to the assumption that there’s quite a bit of concern around Fournette’s health. And while his timeline for return hasn’t been set, we’re going to break down the latest news that’s come out on the No. 4 pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Hyde Trade and Fournette Ruled out for Week 8
When the team revealed Fournette wouldn’t play in London, it wasn’t much of a surprise. The Jaguars are obviously not interested in rushing their young running back onto the field until he’s fully healthy. But Jacksonville wanted a plan and to find a way to get back to their run-first mentality, which is what Hyde gives them.
The former Browns running back has totaled 382 yards and five touchdowns this season. He should be able to hold down the fort for a few weeks, although it could push Fournette’s return back even more. Hyde’s presence also may impact Fournette when he returns to the field, as he’ll almost certainly be eased back into the action.
One thing we know is that fans in London won’t get the chance to see Fournette play live.
Fournette’s Potential Return Date
This is what Jaguars fans and fantasy football players likely have circled on their calendars. Although nothing is set in stone, the team at least has a timeline in mind for Fournette’s potential return. As NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport revealed, the team hopes to see him back in action after the Week 9 bye.
If things play out this way, it would lead to the Jaguars’ offensive star facing the Indianapolis Colts on November 11 and hopefully playing a part in the push to get back into the playoffs. While Fournette has totaled just 71 yards on 20 carries this season, he’s coming off a rookie year in which he racked up 1,040 rushing yards, 302 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns.
We’ll have a better idea of the likelihood of the Jaguars having the former LSU star on the field in Week 10 during the week or so prior.
Source: Heavy Sports