The big picture is broken, now they are trying to put back together the pieces in “Sacksonville.”
The Jacksonville Jaguars, in need of rushing help since Leonard Fournette is out indefinitely with a hamstring injury, traded a fifth-round draft pick to the Cleveland Browns for running back Carlos Hyde.
The Jaguars said Friday that Fournette will miss Sunday’s game against the Houston Texans at TIAA Bank Field. It will be the third consecutive game — and fifth overall — that he has missed with the injury. There is no timetable for when he will be able to return, coach Doug Marrone said.
“I don’t know when he’ll be ready,” Marrone said. “I really don’t.”
T.J. Yeldon, who has been dealing with an ankle injury, has been the Jaguars’ main back in Fournette’s absence. After losing Corey Grant to a season-ending foot injury against the Kansas City Chiefs, the Jaguars signed Jamaal Charles last week. He had five carries for 5 yards and one catch for 5 yards against the Dallas Cowboys on Sunday.
Fournette hurt his right hamstring late in the first half of the season opener and missed the next two games. He returned in Week 4 but aggravated the injury late in the first half of that game and hasn’t practiced since. He has 71 yards rushing and four catches for 19 yards.
That is the running back position. A huge piece the Jaguars are looking for is a win. They have lost two in a row. The defense who has been backing up the talk in their play has been quiet on and off the field as they await the Texans. The defense has given up 800 plus yards and 60 plus points the last two games.
The question is what happened to the Jaguars in back to back weeks? Two answers, they played on the road, importantly the defense has faced mobile quarterbacks in back to back weeks. A task that is not simple even for a defense like the Jaguars.
A lesson was learned when they faced a quarterback that stood seven yards deep in the pocket, they can disrupt with defensive weapons. The fact they did not know where Patrick Mahomes or Dak Prescott would be that would slow their rush defense down. Defensive back Jalen Ramsey will speak highly on the defensive corners however that Jaguars defense is built on the rush of the defensive line.
Offensively, not having Fournette in the backfield hurts Bortles. When you take away Fournette as the original game plan, all of sudden Bortles is looking at different coverages, leading to more pressure being placed on Bortles. Until Fournette and the running game possibly with Hyde returns the Jaguars will be able to pound the ball with the ground attack, and opposing defenses will respect that inside run game. Bortles should put up better numbers.
The pieces are not tiny, giving the Jaguars hope however they have to begin piecing them together before they get smaller.