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Game that was: Fournette says he’s OK

Posted Oct 15, 2017

Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette on ankle injury sustained late in a 27-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at EverBank Field Sunday: “It’s nothing serious … I am alright. I just twisted my ankle. I am fine.”

JACKSONVILLE – The Jaguars got a sliver of good news on a disappointing Sunday.

The sliver was that the ankle injury sustained by rookie running back Leonard Fournette apparently was not significant.

“It’s nothing serious,” Fournette said following a 27-17 loss to the Los Angeles Rams at EverBank Field Sunday afternoon. “I am alright. … I am fine.”

Fournette, the No. 4 overall selection in the 2017 NFL Draft, rushed for 130 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries Sunday. His 75-yard touchdown run came on the Jaguars’ first play from scrimmage.

Fournette, who called his injury a “twisted ankle,” rushed for 55 yards on 20 carries after his touchdown run as the Rams stacked the line of scrimmage with eight or nine defenders. He sustained his injury on a run for no gain with 9:39 remaining in the fourth quarter.

Fournette, who was helped from the field after the play, was attended to by trainers. He also went under a tent on the sideline before running to one end of the field to test the ankle.

The team announced later that Fournette had been cleared medically to return for the team’s final series. Quarterback Blake Bortles threw seven times on that series with the Jaguars trailing by 10 points and trying to move quickly by passing to get back in the game.

“Initially, I was worried,” Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said. “I thought it was a knee, but then it came back it was just an ankle and then they said that he was taped up and spatted and could have gone back in the game, so that’s encouraging.”

Fournette talked more about the game than the ankle afterward, calling the loss “difficult for the whole team.”

“You don’t practice to lose,” Fournette said. “It’s going to be hard at the end of the day. No one is satisfied with losing. I hate losing, myself. I hate it with a passion. We have to come together as a team and gather ourselves.”

Fournette said of Rams’ stacked-box approach defensively, “We expect that from every team. At the end of the day, we have to come together as a team and keep fighting no matter if they have 10 men in the box. Physical is our standpoint.”

 

NOTABLE I

The Jaguars’ special teams struggled Sunday, allowing touchdowns on a blocked punt return and 103-yard opening-kickoff return. Punter Brad Nortman also had a 16-yard first-quarter punt that set up a 56-yard field goal by Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein. “I felt could have played better and today I didn’t play up to my standards,” Nortman said. “Our standards on special teams are higher than what we’ve put on the field. … I can only speak about me and what I can bring to this team and it’s got to be better.” Marrone called the special teams play overall “disappointing” and added, “It’s very difficult in the NFL when you give up that many points on [special] teams.”

 

NOTABLE II

Jaguars kicker Jason Myers on Sunday missed two 54-yard field-goal attempts – one at the end of the first half and one with 1:12 remaining in the fourth quarter. Marrone was asked afterward about his confidence level in Myers, who is 11 of 15 on field goals this season with three misses from more than 50 yards. “I put him out there for another long field goal,” Marrone said of the fourth-quarter attempt. “So my confidence in him at that point was fine. Obviously we’ll need to see where he’s at.”

 

NOTABLE III

Marrone after the game addressed his decision to have Myers attempt the 54-yarder with 1:12 remaining. The kick came on 2nd-and-8 at the Rams 36 with the Jaguars having no timeouts and trailing by 10 points. “My thought process was to go to kick the field goal and leave us some time so we could take more shots in the end zone if we recovered it [an onside kick],” Marrone said. “I felt that if they were able to force us to keep the ball inbounds as we were going down the field then it was going to be very difficult for us to get the ball back and still have time, and we might have just had one play.”

 

NOTABLE IV

Marrone after the game also discussed his confidence in Bortles, who completed 23 of 35 passes for 241 yards and a touchdown with a fourth-quarter interception Sunday. He also was sacked five times, matching the number of times he had been sacked in the first five games of the season. “I’m fine [with Bortles],” Marrone said. “I look at it as a team, what we have to do.  We ran the football well.  He made some really good decisions. He ran the ball. I thought he put a couple of good throws out there that we weren’t taking advantage of. Then obviously you’re going to have some tough throws, so I think it’s tough. We’ll evaluate it when there’s people around him and in his face and evaluate it when it’s a clean pocket, so we’ll just keep pushing forward.”

 

QUOTABLE I

“We know who we are and we’ve just got to start playing and acting like it. We’ve got a hell of a running game and a quarterback and a good defense and there is no way a team should be beating us. We got to make sure we’re stout in our special teams and the offense and defense flying at the same time and we’ll be alright.”

--Jaguars DT Malik Jackson

 

QUOTABLE II

“We’ve gotta figure it [the passing offense] out. That’s the only thing I can say, honestly – go back to the drawing board and figure it out.”

--Jaguars WR Marqise Lee

 

QUOTABLE III

“I can’t really put a finger on it [why the team is 3-1 away from EverBank Field with an 0-2 record there]. It’s tough right now. Like you said, we play different football away from home. We’re going to get on the film and see what we can do different and hopefully come out with an outcome that can get our team to be more consistent.”

--Jaguars S Barry Church

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