Leonard Fournette was benched for the Jacksonville Jaguars vs Cincinnati Bengals game on Sunday (November 5). The shocking news came out Sunday morning, with barely an hour until kickoff. The team decision may have caught a lot of fantasy football owners off guard, especially in leagues where rosters freeze on game day.
A report by NFL.com relayed information from Jaguars coach Doug Marrone, who didn’t give specifics about what had taken place. What he did do, though, was let Jaguars fans know that the most exciting player on the roster would be sitting out an important Week 9 game.
“Leonard Fournette is not playing in today’s game due to an infraction of a team rule. This has been addressed internally and further details will not be made public.”
In the place of Fournette, it is expected that T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory are going to see a very large increase in their playing time. Yeldon emerged again in a Week 7 win over the Los Angeles Rams, rushing for 122 yards and a touchdown while stepping in for the injured Fournette. In that same game, Ivory had 17 carries for 47 yards and a touchdown. It showed that both players were capable of putting up good numbers and it created a tough decision for fantasy football owners in Week 9.
Statement from Head Coach Doug Marrone: https://t.co/namnBVjBXd
— #Sacksonville (@Jaguars) November 5, 2017
This is basically a Leonard Fournette suspension of one game, with the Jacksonville Jaguars seeking to make a statement to their star running back. It will likely leak a bit later why the team decided to make this move, but it appears that it was intended to send a message about following team rules. The rule he broke likely won’t get broken again if Fournette wants to return to the field for the Week 10 game.
In six games during the 2017 NFL season, Leonard Fournette has rushed for 596 yards on just 130 carries. He is averaging nearly 100 yards per game and 4.6 yards per carry. Fournette also has 15 catches for 136 yards, putting the ball in the end zone seven times this year already. With Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson now injured, Fournette may have taken over as the favorite to win the NFL Rookie of the Year Award.
How the Jaguars do against the Bengals could depend on how well Chris Ivory and T.J. Yeldon carry the ball, so there is a lot of pressure on the running game to perform. Having to go at it without Leonard Fournette is going to be a tough task for the team, but it could also turn into a learning experience for the rookie. It has certainly garnered a lot of attention from the NFL, the fans, and fantasy football owners as the Sunday games get ready to begin. The Jacksonville Jaguars enter Week 9 with a 4-3 record.
[Featured Image by Logan Bowles/Getty Images]