72ºF

Countdown to Training Camp: T.J. Yeldon

photo
(Associated Press)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Heading into the 2016 season T.J. Yeldon was the Jaguars No. 1 running back. The NFL is a what have you done for me lately league. Last season, Yeldon never got into a rhythm and the Jaguars wasted no time drafting LSU running back Leonard Fournette with the No. 4 overall pick in April.

Although the Jaguars haven’t officially anointed Fournette as the starter, running backs chosen that high don’t usually sit on the bench for long. So what does that mean for Yeldon? In addition to Fournette he will have to battle Chris Ivory for touches.

Position: Running back

2016 Stats: Played in 15 games with 465 yards rushing (3.6 avg), 50 catches for 312 yards and a total of two touchdowns.

2017 Projection: This is one of the Jaguars biggest questions on offense. Having the potential of three productive running backs (Fournette, Yeldon, Ivory) is a good problem to have. All three have dealt with injuries at various points of their careers so there’s a good chance that Yeldon will carve out a role. At the least he’s shown the ability to be a third-down back.

From the locker room:

Jaguars General Manager Dave Caldwell on the crowded backfield:

“I think you need them all.  It’s about the physicality of the game and running the ball. Obviously one of them is going to get the bulk of the carries, but you need three good backs, somebody to change the pace. If Leonard (Fournette) gets tired, if Chris Ivory gets tired, well you’ve got two guys that can rotate.  T.J. (Yeldon) is a great third-down back.  He can pass protect and catch the ball out of the backfield too, but he can also take some of those reps too.”