JACKSONVILLE – Carlos Hyde likes his new situation.
"I feel like I'll fit in perfect," the Jaguars' latest and most high-profile running-back acquisition of the season said Monday.
The Jaguars hope that's the case, believing in the fifth-year veteran enough to trade a fifth-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft to the Cleveland Browns for Hyde.
That trade took place Friday, and Hyde reportedly nearly played in the Jaguars' 20-7 home loss to the Houston Texans Sunday – a game in which the Jaguars managed just 70 yards rushing on 22 carries. Jaguars running backs rushed 14 times for 32 yards in the game.
"I hope he brings a downhill mentality, a guy that can make plays, that can help with some protection, a guy that can help this offense and maybe get us in situations where we can get some plays," Jaguars Head Coach Doug Marrone said Sunday. "We're looking forward to that and seeing him this week."
Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette has missed three consecutive games and five of the last six with a hamstring injury sustained in a Week 1 victory over the New York Giants. T.J. Yeldon has started four games at running back, rushing for 327 yards and a touchdown on 79 carries. Yeldon rushed for 28 yards on 12 carries Sunday.
Hyde, who said he learned of the trade after practice Friday in a phone call from Browns General Manager John Dorsey, said he was "shocked" by the trade. He flew to Jacksonville Friday night, and said he asked the Jaguars to let him play Sunday.
"That was one of the first questions I asked when I got here: 'Can I play Sunday?''' Hyde said. "Some of the run plays were familiar with what I was doing over in Cleveland. I was like, 'I think I can get into the game and run these plays; I don't think it would be that hard.' They didn't let me.
"I was definitely pushing for it, but it didn't happen."
Hyde (6-feet-0, 236 pounds), a 2014 second-round draft selection by the San Francisco 49ers, has rushed for 2,934 yards and 25 touchdowns on 716 career carries. He signed with the Browns this past offseason as an unrestricted free agent and rushed for 382 yards and five touchdowns on 114 carries in five games.
"I run angry, downhill, smashmouth football," he said. "That has been my game ever since I started playing this game."
The trade for Hyde is the latest move to address a position weakened not only by Fournette's lingering hamstring issue, but by a season-ending foot injury sustained by third-team running back Corey Grant.
The Jaguars two weeks ago signed four-time Pro Bowl selection and 11-year veteran Jamaal Charles as a free agent and signed first-year veteran Dave Williams from the Denver Broncos practice squad. They signed rookie Bo Scarborough to the practice squad the same week.
The Jaguars rank 23rd in the NFL in rushing this season at 98.6 yards per game after ranking first at 141.4 yards per game last season. The Jaguars have rushed for 78.6 yards per game during their current three-game losing streak and were shutout in the first half of all three games.
"I saw offensively they couldn't move the ball [against Houston]," Hyde said. "That was hurting the defense. Those three-and-outs, they put a lot of pressure on the defense. If we can get moving the ball in the right direction, convert those third downs, keep the drives alive and give the defense a break, it would be helpful."
*Defensive tackle Malik Jackson on dealing with frustration after a three-game losing streak: "You have to go out and there and do your job. That's all you have do to. We understand what it takes. We understand what it means to be angry and channel that energy in the right way. It's not at anybody or anything. It's about the way you go about your work next week and in the game."