Norwell received the richest contract in league history for an interior lineman, though Cowboys G Zack Martin has since received a slightly larger deal. The Jaguars still don't have a dominant offensive line, and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins is a downgrade from Marcedes Lewis as a blocker, but the combination of Norwell and center Brandon Linder at least creates a clear area of strength in the left A-gap. The upgrade should help Fournette improve on his rookie-year mark of 3.9 yards per carry, though it's concerning that his average drops to 3.3 YPC if his two longest runs are removed. Regardless, the Jaguars seemingly intend to maintain Fournette's workload in the range of last season's 20.6 carries and 3.7 targets per game. T.J. Yeldon and Corey Grant will get some snaps, especially on passing downs, but the team is committed to Fournette as its centerpiece.
Fournette (ankle) was listed as a limited participant at Wednesday's practice.
Per Mike DiRocco of ESPN.com, Fournette was not injured after being involved in a minor car accident on Tuesday, but his practice participation Wednesday was impacted by an ankle issue that forced the running back to exit this past Sunday's AFC divisional-round contest for a spell. We fully expect Fournette to be available for this weekend's AFC championship, but it remains to be seen if he approaches the contest with an injury designation or ends up being removed from the Jaguars' final injury report of the week come Friday.
Fournette, who sprained his right ankle in Sunday's 45-42 divisional-round win over the Steelers, is expected to participate in practice Wednesday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Though it's uncertain if Fournette will take part in all of the team's drills in the Jaguars' first practice of the week, the fact that he'll be on the field in any capacity suggests he's in little danger of missing the AFC championship matchup with the Patriots this weekend. It has been an eventful past few days for the rookie, who was involved in a minor car accident Tuesday after delivering three touchdowns and 119 total yards to lead the Jaguars to victory Sunday. Fournette escaped the accident without any injuries, however, so it looks like the health of his ankle will be his only concern leading up to the showdown with New England.
Fournette rushed 25 times for 109 yards and three touchdowns and brought in two of four targets for 10 yards in Sunday's 45-42 AFC divisional-round win over the Steelers.
Fournette fought through a late second-quarter ankle injury to return at the start of the third quarter. Although he was considerably less productive in the second half, a pair of first-quarter touchdown runs of one and 18 yards garnered the Jaguars an important early 14-0 lead. The star rookie then capped off a five-play, 61-yard drive early in the fourth quarter with a three-yard scoring run that gave Jacksonville a 35-21 edge with 10:34 remaining. Fournette looked nearly unstoppable before his injury, and the health of his ankle will certainly be a subject of intense discussion leading into next Sunday's AFC championship road showdown against the Patriots.
Fournette, who exited Sunday's playoff game against the Steelers in the second quarter with a right ankle injury, will be available for the second half of the contest, John Oehser of the Jaguars' official site reports.
This is huge news for the Jaguars, who started the half up by a score of 28-14, with two of the team's TDs having been scored by Fournette. With their starting running back available again, T.J. Yeldon is in line to revert to backup/complementary duty for the Jaguars.
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