INDIANAPOLIS — The league's second-leading rusher won't play today against the Indianapolis Colts, after all.
Rookie running back Leonard Fournette was listed among the Jacksonville Jaguars' seven inactive players 90 minutes before kickoff of today's AFC South Division clash against the Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Fournette suffered an ankle injury midway through the fourth quarter of last Sunday's game against the Los Angeles Rams, and although he would eventually be cleared to go back in, he wouldn't return to the game.
The Jaguars would end up falling to the Rams, 27-17.
Fournette did not practice this past week leading up to the Colts game, although his game status was listed as questionable on Friday. While Fournette told the Jacksonville media he thought his ankle would be in good enough shape to play against the Colts, he said the ultimate decision fell with head coach Doug Marrone, who had said earlier in the week Fournette's status would likely be determined on game day.
With the team's Bye Week looming after today's game, perhaps Marrone felt inclined to let his star running back not one, but two extra weeks of rest heading into their Week 9 home matchup against the Cincinnati Bengals.
Fournette has been the featured piece of the NFL's best running attack through six weeks, as the Jaguars enter Sunday's game averaging 165.8 rushing yards per game — more than 28 yards per game more than the second-place Houston Texans.
A former LSU star, Fournette ranks second in the league in rushing with 596 yards; he's averaging 4.6 yards per carry and also has six scores on the ground.
Without Fournette, the Jaguars will turn to eighth-year veteran Chris Ivory, who has ran the ball 40 times for 162 yards (4.1 yards per carry) so far this season.
Third-year running back Corey Grant has also excelled with limited opportunities so far in 2017, as he has ran the ball nine times for 97 yards — an average of 10.8 yards per carry.
In 47 career carries from 2015-17, Grant has 263 yards — an average of 5.6 yards per run — with one touchdown, and he also has eight catches for 61 yards and a score through the air.
The Colts enter Sunday's game allowing 114.2 rushing yards per game, which ranks 20th in the NFL. That figure would look much better had the team not allowed a 72-yard rushing touchdown in garbage time of Monday night's 36-22 loss to the Tennessee Titans; before that run, the Indy defense had limited the Titans, who were averaging 124.8 rushing yards per game, to 33 carries for 96 yards — an average of 2.9 yards per carry.