JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – While Leonard Fournette appreciated the efforts to keep players healthy during the preseason, the Jaguars' running back acknowledged that the lack of playing time during the preseason has impacted the running game through the first three weeks of the regular season.
Fournette, who finally busted out a long run when he galloped 69 yards against the Titans in the fourth quarter, has run for 59.7 yards per game, 15th-best in the league. He is yet to find the end zone during the 2019 season. That's a far cry from the expectations that most had for the former first-round pick entering his third season in the league.
"It's very frustrating," Fournette said. "I'm a running back first. I don't mind pass blocking and those things, but I'm a running back first. Even when they score touchdowns, I apologized by my team for that, too."
Fournette logged only seven carries in the preseason, not nearly enough work during a game to get into a rhythm with an offensive line that has yet to consistently create big holes in the run game.
"It's not there right now," Fournette said. "Especially with the running game, since nobody played any of the preseason games, I think that messed up a lot of communication. Also, you have to have timing with the running game. We're slowly getting back there."
Fournette's frustration has been visible on the field. So far, he has not exhibited any of the pouting that drew the ire of Jaguars' executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin a year ago.
Fournette spent much of the offseason working out in Wyoming, which could help him on Sunday in the altitude in Denver.