After a lingering hamstring injury forced him to miss six games and a suspension kept him out for another, Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette said Thursday that his physique could improve.
“I could be in better shape,” Fournette said. “I’m fine, though.”
Fournette and the Jaguars’ rushing attack haven’t been fine this season, though it would be unfair to pin the team’s lack of success solely on the second-year tailback. Running mostly behind a makeshift offensive line that now includes just one Week 1 starter, Fournette has carried 115 times for 396 yards (3.4 average) and four touchdowns in his seven games.
That’s a noticeable decline from his rookie season, when Fournette carried 268 times for 1,040 yards (3.9 average) and nine touchdowns in 13 games. That included touchdown runs of 90 and 75 yards.
Fournette’s long run this season is 25 yards, which came on his only second-half carry in a loss to Washington on Sunday. After cutting back across the field, Fournette briefly looked to have a chance at another huge run. Instead, he was tripped up by Redskins safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix after a nice gain.
The Jaguars have said they limited Fournette’s touches last week to get a better look at rookie running back Dave Williams, who carried five times for 32 yards. It does seem fair, though, to wonder if Fournette is also dealing with somewhat tired legs.