Say what you want about Leonard Fournette's maturity.
He's been suspended one game for fighting this season and missed a game for violating team rules last season.
But there's no denying his impact when he's on the field. And that's where he'll be when the Jaguars take on the Titans this Thursday in front of a national television audience.
Fournette is set to return from his one game suspension slapped on him by the NFL after throwing hands with Bills defensive lineman Shaq Lawson in the third quarter of the Jaguars week 12 loss to Buffalo.
The Jaguars young star running back has finished just two games this season, but in both contests he was the straw that stirred the Jaguars drink. In his first game back from a hamstring injury Fournette found the end zone twice against the Colts and was the catalyst of a near comeback effort by the Jaguars in Indy. The following week against the Steelers Fournette got off to a hot start, and once again found the end zone, but the Jaguars offense went into a shell and ended up costing the team the game at the very end. After a crushing loss to the Steelers the Jaguars took on the Bills. Prior to Fournette's ejection with 2:49 left in the third quarter of that one the Jaguars offense was moving the ball well. And, ironically, would have been in perfect position to get LF27 another score with the ball on the one yard line had he not been ejected after the previous play. Even with the ejection Fournette finished the game with 95 yards on 18 carries and two scores.
His production for this offense has been irreplaceable. When he's not in the game the Jaguars can't seem to get anything going on the ground.
He'll be back this week and will be playing alongside Cody Kessler for the first time in his career. If Fournette can have the same type of impact that he has had in recent weeks it should help Cody Kessler to feel more comfortable in the pocket and might make defenders a step slower, as they ponder the looming threat of Leonard Fournette.
The Titans have been up and down in 2018 on both sides of the ball. At 6-6 they've had impressive defensive performances in wins, but have looked as vulnerable as they come in some losses. The Jaguars have lost three straight to the Titans. But if Leonard Fournette and company are able to end the streak it would be huge for morale and could get the Jaguars headed in the right direction as they enter an ever important 2019 offseason.
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