Carlos Hyde is frustrated.
Can you blame him?
Signed by Cleveland in the offseason to be their workhorse back, Hyde went from the starter to the backup with the emergence of rookie RB Nick Chubb. He was then traded to Jacksonville, a team missing a workhorse type back with Leonard Fournette sidelined. Hyde played in just one game before Fournette returned and carried the ball just six times in that contest. It should be no surprise that with Fournette back Hyde wouldn't be the number one back, but his lack of carries has been laughable. He's carried the ball just 21 times in the last three weeks, 10 of which came against the Bills in week 12. Fournette missed the second half of that game after being ejected for fighting with Buffalo defensive end Shaq Lawson.
“I went from starter, to not getting the ball at all, down to third string,” said Hyde. “Yes, it’s frustrating but I have to be patient for my time to come back around. When it comes, I’ll be ready.”
The time for Carlos Hyde should be now.
The Jaguars will be without Leonard Fournette in week 13. He was suspended by the NFL thanks to his aforementioned fight with Shaq Lawson.
The Jaguars should look to use Hyde early and often in this one. If he can help set the tone, it could make things a lot easier for Cody Kessler, who will make his first start as a member of the Jaguars. With a patchwork offensive line it may be tough sledding for Hyde, but the Jaguars should be eager to see what they have in a player that they traded a fifth round pick for earlier in the season. The fact that the Colts defense is playing solid run defense won't help either, but the Jaguars have to find out what Carlos Hyde can be for them.
Of course, TJ Yeldon also stands in Hyde's way. But if I were the Jaguars I would start Carlos Hyde and bring Yeldon in on clear passing situations. Hyde is under contract with the team through 2020 (although there is a potential team out after this season). Yeldon? He's likely to leave for greener pastures (pun intended) after the 2018 season when his contract expires. If the Jaguars traded a fifth round pick for Carlos Hyde with no intention of keeping him after 2018 then they made a foolish, panic driven decision. Fournette isn't likely to relinquish his stranglehold on the bulk of the carries in Jacksonville next season, but Hyde is a valuable back up plan and could help form a formidable one-two punch for the Jags.
Tom Coughlin and Co. have no intention of the abandoning their strategy of running the ball and playing sound defense any time soon. The Jaguars have a valuable asset in RB Carlos Hyde. He has the ability to make defenders miss with his agility and is a load to bring down. The Jags would be wise to let him loose in week 13.
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