Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette lasted for about one half in the team’s season opener before he injured his hamstring. He missed two games, returned for Week 4 against the Jets, and hurt his hamstring again. After being ruled out for Sunday, Fournette will now miss three straight games. Jacksonville’s impatience led the team to trade for Browns running back Carlos Hyde today:
In Fournette’s stead, the Jaguars had been using T.J. Yeldon, who was also decent as a pass-catching back but hasn’t exceeded 58 rushing yards in any game this season. Yeldon popped up on the injury report Wednesday with an iffy ankle, and although he practiced Thursday, his condition could be worse than the team’s letting on. The Jags wanted power, but their best power back has a frustrating injury, so they went out and found an acceptable substitute at a low cost.
It’s a little annoying to frame Fournette as the bad guy for not wanting to run on a bad hamstring, though. He needs his legs healthy if he’s going to be good:
Another reason the 3-3 Jaguars might have traded for Hyde: The AFC South is full of piss-poor competition—every team in it has a negative point differential—and Jacksonville should really be pulling away by now. Anonymous grousing aside, the Jaguars will now have two power backs whenever Fournette returns. That’ll allow them to minimize the danger of a full-on Bortlesing.