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Notes and observations: 'I did my time'

Posted Nov 8, 2017

Jaguars RB Leonard Fournette on sitting out this past Sunday’s victory over Cincinnati: 'I did my time, did my punishment and now it’s on to the Chargers … It’s never going to happen again'


JACKSONVILLE – Leonard Fournette left no doubt Wednesday:

The past is the past, and what’s done is done – and what occurred to cause the Jaguars’ rookie running back to miss this past Sunday’s victory over the Bengals is most certainly both.

“I did my time, did my punishment and now it’s on the L.A. Chargers,” Fournette said as the Jaguars (5-3) prepared to play the Los Angeles Chargers (3-5) at EverBank Field Sunday at 1 p.m. “It was a misunderstanding, that’s all. I have to do a better job of communicating with [Head] Coach Doug [Marrone]. We’ve moved on.”

Fournette, the Jaguars’ leading rusher with 596 yards and six touchdowns this season, missed the Bengals game because of what Marrone called an infraction of a team rule. Marrone has declined to offer specifics on the matter and Fournette offered few specifics Wednesday.

“I feel like he’s on track and let’s go,” Marrone said. “That’s in the past for me.”

Fournette called missing Sunday “aggravating.”

“As a competitor and a player, you want to go out and play with your brothers,” Fournette said. “It’s another lesson that I have to learn and grow from. I never really got in trouble in college. This is one of the first things I did and went through. It was a mistake. It’s never going to happen again.”

Fournette apologized via Twitter early this week, joking that he did so because of “My fantasy [football] owners were kind of on me. They were tweeting me and stuff.”

“But I represent not just myself, but my family, too,” Fournette said. “I wasn’t brought up like that.”

Fournette, who said he apologized to teammates, said he didn’t believe he needed to re-earn the trust of Jaguars veterans.

“I’m not known for getting in trouble,” he said.

Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles agreed.

“I think just watching him around the locker room and around practice and being around meetings the past week and seeing how hard he took it and how disappointed in himself he seemed—not only he wants to go out there and play and do well, but the fact that he felt as though he let us down …” Bortles said. “I think that made a big impact on him and I think from the first snap at practice today it was full go and you can tell how excited he was to be back out there knowing he’s going to play on Sunday.”

Notes and observations from EverBank Field Wednesday:

*Bortles was among several players speaking about former Head Coach Gus Bradley, who will return to EverBank Sunday as the Chargers’ defensive coordinator. Several players credited Bradley not only with helping them significantly early in their careers, but laying the foundation of the team’s current success. “He was a part of a lot of this,” Bortles said. “Don’t get me wrong: Doug and [Executive Vice President of Football Operations] Coach [Tom] Coughlin have come in and changed a lot of things; I think a lot of it has changed for the better. I think Gus was part of the creation of the foundation here. A lot of the draft classes that came in and are now a big part of the team were taken under him. He’s definitely a big part of that, for sure.” …

*Bortles, after struggling at times during the preseason and early season, has had two of the best games of his career in the last two weeks. Since throwing for 235 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in a two-game span against the New York Jets and Pittsburgh, Bortles has thrown for three touchdowns and 831 yards with one interception in the last three games. “It boosts your confidence a little bit,” Bortles said. “You have to stay as level-headed as possible to keep everything calm, cool and collected. We talk about it: Each individual game, it’s going to be a roller coaster. There’s going to be high, there’s going to be low. There’s going to be good stuff and bad stuff that happens. As long as you keep your head and you don’t get too high or too low, you can overcome any of it.” …

*Wide receiver Marqise Lee (knee) and defensive tackle Marcell Dareus (illness) were the only two Jaguars players not practicing Wednesday. Lee has missed the last two Wednesday practices before with the issue before starting the following Sunday. Bortles (right wrist), wide receiver Arrelious Benn (groin), cornerback Jalen Ramsey (groin), guard A.J. Cann (triceps), guard Patrick Omameh (knee) and right tackle Jermey Parnell (knee) practiced limited. …

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