Jacksonville Jaguars Running Backs Situation Heading into Final Two Games

Jacksonville Jaguars Running Backs
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The Jacksonville Jaguars running back depth took a big hit on Sunday. In the week 16 game against the New York Jets, James Robinson tore his Achilles early in the game. While the team only has two games remaining, the backfield depth will be key moving forward. With Robinson out, the team needs someone to step up into the main tailback role. On Sunday, it was Dare Ogunbowale.

Jacksonville Jaguars Running Backs Situation

The Jaguars have the worst record in the league at 2-13. Add in the injuries and coaching changes from this season and Jacksonville has struggled in more areas than one. In week 16, the injury list added a star player on offense in Robinson. While the Jags kept it close against the Jets, a 26-21 loss didn’t help much. Ogunbowale carried the ball 17 times for 57 yards and a touchdown.

Heading into the final two games, the second-string tailback looks to be the starter. However, the Jaguars have other options at the position to get other players’ reps during live game action.

Potential Starter Moving Forward

Ogunbowale is the clear-cut option to be the starter in the backfield. After his performance on Sunday, it seems inevitable to place him in the starting role. This season, the franchise ranks 18th in the NFL with 1,574 total rushing yards on 344 attempts. From an individual perspective, Robinson ranked 14th with 767 yards on the ground. Putting Ogunbowale as the starter would give Jacksonville a chance to gain more yards on the ground in the final two games. He averaged 3.4 yards per attempt in week 16.

Although Jacksonville has struggled on offense all season, there have been bright spots at times. Entering what will be the final two chances of 2021 to get a win, running the ball effectively will be key. If interim head coach Darrell Bevell wants to give the team a chance, the offense should center around the ground game.

Other Potential Options

Aside from Ogunbowale, the Jaguars have Ryquell Armstead, Nathan Cottrell, B.J. Emmons, and Carlos Hyde. To back up Ogunbowale, Hyde would be the best option in that aspect. Sure, the team is not a great rushing team. But, there has to be a potential saving grace in the last two match-ups of the season. Running the ball for 100+ yards certainly won’t change anything in terms of potential starters in 2022. However, it would give the offense a boost when the passing game is struggling. They activated Cottrell just a few weeks ago, but he has potential. As for Armstead, he might be the least likely to see the field. But it comes down to Ogunbowale and Hyde for the main role. However, following Sunday, Hyde will likely be the second-string tailback.

Facing the New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts to close out the season will be no easy task. Both of those defenses are pretty solid in stopping the run. Plus, the Jaguars just lost one of the team’s best overall players to an Achilles injury. If the Jaguars are going to win one of the final two, running the ball is key.

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