New England Patriots: Health of Leonard Fournette is crucial in Week 2
By Nick Ziegler
In Week 2, the New England Patriots will be facing the Jacksonville Jaguars. One of the things to monitor this week is the health of Leonard Fournette.
After a solid Week 1 win against the Houston Texans, the New England Patriots will be traveling to Jacksonville for a matchup against the Jaguars. This is a rematch of the 2017 AFC Championship Game, and the Jaguars will certainly be hungry for some revenge.
Like the Patriots, the Jaguars were victorious in Week 1. Jacksonville was able to come up north and defeat the New York Giants by a score of 20-15. What was very impressive for the Jaguars in the win was their ability to essentially win the game without Leonard Fournette.
In the win, Fournette left fairly early on against the Giants with a hamstring injury and never returned. With the offense not being that explosive, Fournette is certainly a big part of what the Jaguars do on that side of the ball.
Last season, Fournette totaled 1,090 rushing yards and nine touchdowns in 13 games. In the AFC Championship Game against the Patriots, Fournette got a lot of work, as he totaled 24 carries, 76 rushing yards, and a touchdown.
Due to the hamstring always being a tricky injury, this could be a big blow for the Jaguars’ chances if Fournette is limited or out against the Patriots. Against the Giants, T.J. Yeldon did perform well, but the Jaguars are certainly a better team with Fournette in there.
While the Jaguars seem to be optimistic about the hamstring, that issue can linger. Yeldon is certainly not the runner that Fournette is, but he is more of a threat as a pass-catcher out of the backfield.
As the week rolls on, the health of Fournette will be one of the main things to watch. If he is out, the Jaguars are going to have a difficult time defeating the Patriots.