Just an ordinary Monday for the Jacksonville Jaguars, with RB Leonard Fournette suspended for a game. The Jags already changed QBs and fired a coordinator.
The Jacksonville Jaguars had an eventful Monday on their own, with the firing of offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett and the benching of starting quarterback Blake Bortles.
Now the Jags will go into Sunday’s game against the Indianapolis Colts without running back Leonard Fournette, who was suspended for one game for his role in an altercation in their 24-21 loss to the Buffalo Bills on Sunday.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reported that Fournette was suspended for a laundry list of offenses:
According to ESPN’s Chris Mortensen, Fournette is expected to appeal to suspension, but faces a tough process getting the one-game ban overturned.
Fournette had already missed six games this season with a hamstring injury. He had 18 carries for 95 yards and two touchdowns at Buffalo before being ejected in the third quarter and in five games this season has 314 yards on 90 attempts with four scores.
As a rookie last season, Fournette started 13 games and finished the year with 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns, averaging 3.9 yards per carry before helping Jacksonville to the AFC Championship with 242 yards on 70 carries with four touchdowns, including a three TD performance in an AFC Divisional Playoffs win at Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, Hackett had been with the Jaguars as offensive coordinator since Doug Marrone was hired as head coach in 2015. But Jacksonville is 28th in the league with 197 points scored, 22nd in passing offense and total offense and have 22 turnovers in 11 games.
The quarterback change comes after Bortles, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, was just 12-for-23 for 127 yards with two interceptions and a touchdown against the Bills. Jacksonville fell to 3-8 with the loss, their seventh in a row after a 3-1 start.
To be fair, Jacksonville has been ravaged by injuries on the offensive line — which can’t help a quarterback do his job. The Jags already have four offensive linemen — Cam Robinson, Will Richardson, Josh Wells and Brandon Linder — on injured reserve, while Josh Walker has missed the last two weeks with a foot injury.
The IR count will increase to five when Andrew Norwell is placed on the list with an ankle injury.
In 11 starts this season, Bortles had completed 60.4 percent of his passes for 2,572 yards and 13 touchdowns and 10 picks.
The new starter is Cody Kessler, who started eight games for the Cleveland Browns as a rookiw in 2016. The Jags acquired the former third-round pick in March in exchange for a conditional 2019 seventh-round pick.
Kessler has played in just one game, relieving Bortles in a 20-7 loss to the Houston Texans in Week 7. He inherited a 20-0 deficit and was 21-for-30 for 156 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.
In his career, Kessler has made 13 appearances — eight of them starts — and has completed 64.5 percent of his throws for 1,662 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions. He is not the running threat Bortles is, with 25 career yards on 14 carries.
Bortles had run for 325 yards on 50 attempts this season and has eight career rushing touchdowns in five seasons to go with 1,735 yards on the ground.