The Jacksonville Jaguars had big plans for rookie running back Travis Etienne, the No. 25 overall pick out of this year’s draft, but the former Clemson star’s season is already over with a foot injury, which will affect some Jaguars NFL odds.
NFL | Jacksonville Jaguars without Travis Etienne
Etienne suffered a foot injury in Monday’s preseason loss at New Orleans and the Jaguars didn’t think it was serious initially but it proved to be a Lisfranc injury that was diagnosed as a significant tear and n needed surgery. Initial X-rays came back negative, leading the Jaguars to hope the injury was just a sprain. Jacksonville officially placed Etienne on injured reserve Tuesday, which means Etienne will have to wait for 2022 to make his NFL debut. He played a total of 16 snaps between Jacksonville’s first two preseason games, carrying the ball twice for three yards.
The two-time ACC Player of the Year was a dual-threat weapon during his time in Clemson, and helped the Tigers win four ACC titles and a national title in 2018. He is the NCAA FBS record holder for most career games scoring a touchdown — 46 of his 55 career games. In all, he rushed for 4,952 yards (ACC record) and 70 touchdowns in four seasons.
Coach Urban Meyer said he planned on having Etienne line up at receiver in addition to running back, similar to the way he used Percy Harvin at Florida, adding he hoped that Etienne would bring a big-play element to the offense. The Jaguars don’t have anyone on the roster that can replicate his speed and ability to rip off chunks of yards in the blink of an eye.
The 2020 Jaguars were last in the NFL in combined rushes of 20 or more yards and pass plays of 30 or more yards. They had 16, which was 33 fewer than the league-leading Baltimore Ravens. The Jaguars have not generated much offense this preseason, averaging 2.6 yards per rush and 9.8 yards per reception. With a long rush to date of 10 yards and long catch of 37, the Jaguars could use Etienne’s speed.
Jacksonville does have James Robinson at tailback and he had a terrific rookie season in 2020 as an undrafted free agent. His 1,414 scrimmage yards were the most scrimmage yards by an undrafted rookie in NFL history while his 1,070 rushing yards ranked second. The Jags also have veteran Carlos Hyde at tailback so Robinson likely won’t dominate work to quite the same extent he did a year ago, when he played 60% of the snaps in 10 of 14 games and topped 70% in seven.Lions Not Sure On Swift
Detroit Lions running back D’Andre Swift was quite productive in his 2020 season when he was on the field – but the problem is that he had trouble staying healthy and that’s already the case this offseason. Swift has been dealing with a nagging groin injury and has been in and out of practice for the past few weeks. While he’s been trending in the right direction over the past couple of practices, Coach Dan Campbell said on Tuesday that he’s not so sure he’ll be available for the season opener.
“Swift concerns me a little bit,” Campbell admitted. “Just with getting his wind back, being able to take a load. How much can he—where he’s at?”
The Lions plan to use Swift as the lead back in a running back rotation that also will include Jamaal Williams. Williams has taken the majority of No. 1 reps in his absence. If he lives up to expectations, Swift could very well end Detroit’s run of not having a 1,000-yard rusher since 2013 — the longest drought in the NFL.
During the 2020 camp, Swift suffered a hip injury that limited his playing time but was still available for the opener. However, Swift’s ascension to a significant role in the offense didn’t occur until later in the year. He first saw more than 50% of the offensive snaps in a game in Week 8 got his first start in Week 10.
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