Leonard Fournette Injury Update: Jaguars Running Back Leaves NFL Playoff Game With Ankle Injury

With Jacksonville winning their AFC playoff matchup, they lost their star rookie running back in the game.

Leonard Fournette injury update Jaguars running back leaves early
Don Wright / AP Images

With Jacksonville winning their AFC playoff matchup, they lost their star rookie running back in the game.

After seeing their team jump out ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars fans quickly became concerned over their star running back Leonard Fournette. The rookie exited the game early due to his injury and headed to the locker room to be checked out. That has fans wondering if his status to play again would be hopeful or doubtful and if it would hurt the team’s chances of winning the game. As of the latest Leonard Fournette injury update, the Jags’ first-round NFL Draft pick seems to have shown some positive signs of not having a serious injury. However, his team’s opponents were also closing the gap on the Jaguars’ lead.

A report from NFL.com‘s Kevin Patra on Sunday afternoon indicated that Fournette was listed as “questionable to return” to the game after suffering an ankle injury in the first half. The injury came in just the second quarter with under eight minutes remaining until halftime. The Jaguars running back made a catch on a 10-yard play with a spin move to try to elude a defender. However, he came up limping after the play and was checked on by the Jaguars’ training staff, before he continued to limp back to the team’s locker room.

The Jacksonville Jaguars’ training staff checks on RB Leonard Fournette’s first-half ankle injury. Keith Srakocic / AP Images

At halftime, Jacksonville was leading the Pittsburgh Steelers, 28-14 in their AFC Divisional Round matchup. Fournette recorded two touchdowns in the first quarter to help with his team’s lead. The Jaguars running back had 87 yards and the two scores on 14 carries, as well as 10 yards receiving before he exited the game. In addition to Fournette, safety Barry Church also left the game with a shoulder injury but was listed as “probable” for his return.

With Fournette sidelined, the Steelers were able to score a touchdown in the second half to narrow the Jaguars’ lead to just 28-21. As of this report, the fourth quarter was underway with over 13 minutes remaining in the game.

The bad news for the Jaguars could be the fact that Fournette has dealt with a right ankle injury throughout his first NFL season. The good news is that Leonard Fournette’s limp was said to have improved since he went back to the locker room. It was reported that no X-rays were taken at the time, which could be another positive sign for the Jacksonville Jaguars and their fans. It’s possible more tests will be conducted, though.

Last week saw quarterback Blake Bortles as Jacksonville’s leading rusher with 88 yards on 10 carries. Bortles was the catalyst in a low-scoring game, helping his team win 10-3 over the Buffalo Bills in their Wild Card matchup. However, the last thing fans want is a star like Leonard Fournette sidelined as they attempt to reach and win the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history.

Update: After the earlier injury scare, Leonard Fournette returned to the game in the second half and added another touchdown to the Jacksonville Jaguars’ lead over the Steelers.