The Indianapolis defense will be put to the test this Sunday as they square off with the Jacksonville Jaguars and their vaunted rushing attack.
The Jags are led by their first pick from this year’s draft and potential Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate, Leonard Fournette. The first-year player from LSU was the fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Fournette is the total package. He is a big, fast, powerful runner, who would rather run over defenders rather than around them. Through the Jags first six games this season, Fournette has 596 yards on the ground and has scored at least one touchdown in every game.
However, Fournette did appear on the Jacksonville injury report this week. He suffered an ankle injury last week against the Rams and has yet to practice this week. If Fournette is unable to suit up for the Jaguars on Sunday, that would be a major blow to their offense.
Jacksonville does have a capable backup and a player that will see plenty of snaps regardless of the rookie’s status.
Chris Ivory, the former Jet turned Jaguar, is averaging just over 4 yards per attempt. Ivory is currently snagging about 4-8 carries per game, but if Fournette is out or limited, look for Ivory to carry the load for Jacksonville.
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T.J. Yeldon, the former Alabama standout, is third on the Jacksonville depth chart. Yeldon was bothered by a hamstring injury earlier this season. Though Yeldon has started 22 of 23 games in his young career, he has yet to carry the rock in 2017.
A healthy Leonard Fournette will be the biggest challenge this season for an improving Colts run defense. If Fournette is held out of Sunday’s game, Chris Ivory still brings a lot of punch to the Jaguars running game.
Al Woods and Johnathan Hankins will have to bring their A games to Lucas Oil Stadium against the Jags. Linebackers Antonio Morrison and Jon Bostic will also be relied upon heavily to shed blocks and get the Jacksonville running backs to the turf.
Indianapolis must stop the run to have any hope of winning Sunday’s game against the Jaguars.