The Jaguars season took another ugly turn on Monday evening, when the NFL announced that star running back Leonard Fournette would be suspended for one game as a result of his role in a wild brawl during the middle of the Jags loss to the Bills on Sunday afternoon.
Specifically, according to NFL VP Jon Runyan, who issued the punishment, Fournette was suspended for a violation of Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1, "which prohibits unsportsmanlike conduct, including using abusive, threatening or insulting gestures to opponents and using baiting or taunting acts that may engender ill will between teams" as well as Rule 12, Section 2, Article 12, "which prohibits striking an opponent" and Rule 12, Section 3, Article 1(a), "which prohibits throwing a punch at an opponent, even if no contact is made."
"Sportsmanship is the cornerstone of the game and the League will not tolerate game-related misconduct that conveys a lack of respect for the game itself and those involved in it," Runyan said in a statement. "Video of the incident shows that you were not a participant in the play and that you ran from your sideline to the opposite side of the field to insert yourself as an active participant in a fight. Once you entered the fight area, you struck a member of the opposing team. Your actions adversely reflected on the NFL and have no place in the game."
Jacksonville would commit several penalties after the failed punch in and it ultimately resulted in a missed field goal by Josh Lambo. The Bills would march down the field and erase a 14-14 tie, take the lead and never look back, before winning 24-14.
The fallout was severe on Monday,Nathaniel Hackett and .
Sunday was Jacksonville's seventh straight loss and the team is now in the basement of the AFC South at 3-8. Jacksonville is a mess on both sides of the ball -- it's impossible to believe they were a few plays (one play?) away from beating the Patriots in the AFC Championship Game and making the Super Bowl.
The suspension of Fournette is a huge blow to any fantasy owner hoping to get their early-round pick back in time for a playoff run. Fournette's been a huge disappointment this year, battling hamstring injuries and mostly being away from the field or ineffective when he's been out there. Sunday was a sign of life, with Fournette running for 95 yards and a pair of touchdowns before being ejected.
Indianapolis is a big winner here: the Colts are 6-5, making a push in the division and now get to face Kessler and Hyde instead of Bortles and Fournette (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET, CBS, stream on CBS All Access or fuboTV, try for free). The QB upgrade/downgrade is debatable but the Jags waving the white flag on this season and throwing in backups certainly helps the Colts in their playoff push.