The fans' hopes and dreams for Travis Etienne, the 25th overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, have been put on pause. The rookie running back suffered a lisfranc injury after just three snaps in the Jaguars' preseason loss to the Saints on Monday night. According to Ian Rapoport, Etienne suffered a tear and will be out for the next several months and potentially the entire season. Rapoport says the timeline is a minimum of 12 weeks.
The Jaguars failed to get Etienne involved in the offense during their first two preseason games, although Urban Meyer claims they planned to use him significantly in the loss to the Saints. In total, Etienne played 16 snaps in the preseason for the Jaguars. While he was highly utilized during practice, the coaching staff struggled to put him in positions to succeed early on in the preseason. Urban Meyer and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will now have even more time to figure out how to use their versatile "slash" weapon. They planned on using him as a runner and receiver.
It'll be a tough road ahead for Etienne, who will have a long recovery from this upper foot injury.
In the meantime, the Jaguars will need to rely more heavily on James Robinson and Carlos Hyde.
Robinson had a sensational rookie season in 2020 and has been perhaps even better this summer. He has vision, power, short-area explosiveness, and looks a bit faster than he was in 2020. He'll now be the focal point of the backfield if he wasn't already.
Carlos Hyde is coming off of a couple of solid seasons in Houston and Seattle, but he's failed to make an impact on the field for the Jaguars to this point. Considering how his last stint in Duval ended, it's reasonable for fans to be skeptical about Hyde's ability to contribute. Still, he's familiar with Urban Meyer from their days at Ohio State and will likely show more than he has to this point in a Jaguars' uniform.
It's tough news to stomach for Meyer, Etienne, and the Jaguars. After two ugly preseason losses and a rash of injuries, the list of disappointments is starting to pile up in Duval. For an offense that already appeared to lack speed, losing the young speedster Travis Etienne could be a massive blow.
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