Not that I ever doubted it, but it sounds like Leonard Fournette will be ready to go for September 10 against the Houston Texans. Fournette was asked if he feels like he is going to play against Houston on Monday in the locker room and responded with the confidence that I have seen him handle everything since he got here to Jacksonville by simply saying, “Yeah.”
Jaguars head coach Doug Marrone also indicated that Fournette will play Week 1 against the Texans. “As far as I’m concerned,” Marrone said after practice on Monday when asked about Fournette’s availability against Houston. “I mean I’ve got to say we’ll see, but as far as I’m concerned, yeah.”
Fournette has not played since the Jaguars week one preseason match up against the New England Patriots in which he rushed for 31 yards on 9 carries to go alongside a touchdown in his Jaguars debut. He has missed the last two preseason games and the majority of the last two weeks of practice with a “foot” injury, but is back at practice now and appears to be on track to be the feature back he was drafted to be when the team plays Houston in less than two weeks.
I, for one, am hoping that the confidence Leonard has shown since being selected fourth overall rubs off on some his teammates on the offensive side of the ball where the Jaguars have a lot more questions than answers as the clock continues to tick down to games that count. Questions about the offensive line. Questions about the quarterback.
Fournette has the skills to elevate the guys around him. He can turn two yard runs into seven or eight yards. He can turn fifteen yard runs into game breaking dashes into the end zone. I believe that. Even with the Jaguars offensive line being what it is…I still believe that. My hope is that when Fournette starts to make some of those plays that the play of the guys around him elevate because they start to believe that if they give their guy a chance he will make the play. That he won’t just get the three yards he should but the ten yards that he can.
Maybe that helps Blake. Maybe that helps Chad. Maybe that helps A-Rob and Marqise and Hurns. Maybe that helps the Jaguars actually be what they are hoping to be and will need to be more than ever with the way the quarterback position is playing right now. A team that can run the ball…with a heavy stress placed on the maybe….
But if you’re looking for some hope for the Jaguars offense I think your best bet has returned to the practice field, and it sounds like he will be ready to try and earn that Duval Destroyer nickname some have placed on him against the Texans.