Fri May 24 3:46pm ET
By MARK LONG
AP Sports Writer
Jacksonville Jaguars running backs coach Terry Robiskie, center, talks with running backs Ryquell Armstead (30) and Leonard Fournette (27) during an NFL football practice, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) carries the ball during an NFL football practice, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Leonard Fournette slipped off his sweaty cleats, signed each one and then handed them to a young fan after practice.
The youngster carefully walked away with Fournette's gold-colored shoes, making sure not to touch the drying ink. After all, the memorabilia could appreciate in value if the Jacksonville Jaguars running back gets his NFL career turned around.
Fournette spoke publicly for the first time in nearly six months Friday, finally addressing the worst season in his 24 years and everything that's happened since. He was injured, suspended and on the bench in crunch time. He was fined, criticized and admittedly not in ideal shape late in the year.
The Jaguars voided the remaining guarantees in his rookie contract following his one-game suspension for fighting, and personnel chief Tom Coughlin ripped him for being ''disrespectful'' and ''selfish'' during the season finale. Adding to the chaos, Fournette was arrested last month for driving with a suspended license.
''It's a new year,'' Fournette said following practice. ''We have a new team. We're focused and we have new players. It's a new year for us, so it's a new everything. It's a clean start for a lot of us guys. We're not focused on the past. The past's the past.
''Some things I did, whether it was offseason and I admitted to, yeah I was wrong. We moved on. We're in a good place right now.''
The Jaguars were in a tough spot without Fournette last season, unable to run the ball with any consistency after building the offense around the former LSU star and fourth overall pick in the 2017 NFL draft.
He finished with 439 yards rushing and five touchdowns in eight games after running for 1,040 yards and nine scores as a rookie. He's missed 11 games in two seasons, including two because of suspensions.
''Everybody has a bad year, so I don't feel like I've got to prove myself to no one,'' Fournette said.
The team probably feels otherwise.
Jacksonville completely revamped its running backs room around Fournette, firing position coach Tyrone Wheatley and parting ways with backups T.J. Yeldon, Carlos Hyde and Corey Grant.
Coach Doug Marrone hired 64-year-old Terry Robiskie, who, like Fournette, was born and raised in New Orleans and attended LSU, as running backs coach. They also added veteran Alfred Blue (another LSU alum) to be Fournette's backup.
And even though they signed quarterback and former Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles to upgrade one of the NFL's most anemic offenses, Fournette is still expected to be the centerpiece under new coordinator John DeFilippo.
''He's going to be a major reason for where our offense goes,'' DeFilippo said. ''I'm not going to sugarcoat that. Leonard Fournette needs to be a big part of this offense. The harder he works, which he is right now, I think that's not only going to be good for our offense, but good for our team.''
Fournette said he weighs 226 pounds, down 14 pounds from the end of last season.
He spent part of this offseason training in Dallas and then went to Wyoming to work with his college strength and conditioning coach in hopes of getting back to his ''foundation.''
''I kind of put a lot on myself this offseason, like getting my body right,'' Fournette said. ''Just mentally coming back ready to play football. No distractions. Leaving the outside stuff where it's at. I think that's one of the biggest things that us players. ... We face a lot of problems, you know what I mean?
''We have a lot of issues, and if we're not right with ourselves and then we come out on this field, we're not going to be right in the game.''
Getting Fournette back on track is one of Jacksonville's top priorities. Coaches believe he's got the talent to be one of the best backs in the league - a guy whose worn cleats would be a collector's item - but they have to keep him healthy, in shape, motivated and focused.
''Those young guys at that age, I always think they need a little more push, a little bit more guidance, a little bit more leadership,'' Robiskie said. ''Leonard is one of those guys. He's got the ambition. He's got the heart.
''I think he wants to win. I don't think he wants to win a game. I think he wants to be a part of something special. I think he wants to win a Super Bowl, and I think the year before last, that little taste that he had, I think that kind of helped push it a little bit more.''
Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (concussion) has suffered multiple concussions during his career, and some in the Redskins organization as well as around the NFL are worried that Reed may not be able to play again, according to sources.
Fantasy Spin: Fantasy players will need to monitor the situation to see if Reed will be cleared to play again at some point. Vernon Davis will continue to serve as the starting tight end for the Redskins but probably should be considered a No. 2 fantasy tight end.
Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph has caught 3-of-6 targets for nine receiving yards through two weeks. He has fallen into the touchdown-dependent desperation-play territory as he just isn't seeing enough usage to be fantasy-relevant. The Vikings are big favorites (-9) at home, so it seems likely that Rudolph will be run-blocking much more often than running routes. He is still playing every offensive snap so the chance at a random red zone touchdown is there, but there are higher-upside TE2 options than the unexciting Rudolph.
Philadelphia Eagles TE Dallas Goedert (calf) is active for Week 3's game against the Detroit Lions.
Kansas City Chiefs RB LeSean McCoy (ankle) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.
Fantasy Spin: It is not known if McCoy will be in the starting lineup, but he should receive a decent amount of touches against the Baltimore Ravens. He can be considered at least a flex option in most leagues.
Indianapolis Colts RB Marlon Mack (calf) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.
Fantasy Spin: Mack will receive most of the carries in the running game despite the injury and has played well in the first two games of the season. He can be a No. 2 running back in all fantasy leagues this week.
Detroit Lions LB Jarrad Davis (ankle) is active for Week 3's game against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Indianapolis Colts WR T.Y. Hilton (quadriceps) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.
Fantasy Spin: Hilton has shown solid chemistry with Jacoby Brissett over the first two weeks and will continue to be the focal point in the passing game. He is a must-start option in all fantasy leagues.
After being a healthy scratch through the first two weeks of the season, New England Patriots rookie running back Damien Harris will make his NFL debut on Sunday with James White (personal) out. Harris isn't likely to see enough snaps to be fantasy relevant this week, but if he looks good in his limited role it could bode well for his chances of cracking the rotation moving forward.
The New York Jets have declared QB Sam Darnold, WR Demaryius Thomas, DE John Franklin-Myers, LB Jordan Jenkins, DT Quinnen Williams, DE Jordan Willis and LB C.J. Mosley inactive for Week 3.
The Cincinnati Bengals have declared WR A.J. Green, QB Jacob Dolegala, OT Mike Jordan, OT Cordy Glenn, CB B.W. Webb, DT Ryan Glasgow and DL Kerry Wynn inactive for Week 3.
The Green Bay Packers have declared OT Cole Madison, OL Adam Pankey, WR Jake Kumerow, RB Dexter Williams, CB Ka'dar Hollman, DT Montravius Adams and LB Oren Burks inactive for Week 3.
The Oakland Raiders have declared OT David Sharpe, QB DeShone Kizer, WR Dwayne Harris, WR Trevor Davis, DL Corey Liuget, OG Gabe Jackson and WR Ryan Grant inactive for Week 3.
Green Bay Packers TE Jimmy Graham (groin) is active for Week 3's game against the Denver Broncos.
Philadelphia Eagles WR Alshon Jeffery (calf) is not active for Week 3's game against the Detroit Lions.
Baltimore Ravens TE Mark Andrews (foot) is officially active for the team's Week 3 game.
Fantasy Spin: Andrews has been a big part of the passing game over the first two games and will continue to receive plenty of targets. He should be a starting option in all fantasy leagues.
Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy is active for the team's Week 3 meeting with the Baltimore Ravens. With Damien Williams out and rain in the forecast, Shady should see a fairly sizable workload. He should be a low-end RB2 for this matchup, but with the upside to outperform that in this Andy Reid offense. Darwin Thompson will get some snaps at running back but isn't a huge threat to McCoy.
The Indianapolis Colts will have running back Marlon Mack (calf) and wide receiver T.Y. Hilton (quad) will both play against Atlanta in Week 3. Both players were game-time decisions but will be good to go. Fantasy owners should feel comfortable playing Mack, though he's likely to see fewer snaps than he does most weeks. Hilton, meanwhile, is in an offense that isn't nearly as prolific without quarterback Andrew Luck and should be considered a WR3 most weeks, with the quad injury adding in a good amount of uncertainty this time around.
The Indianapolis Colts have declared LB Jabaal Sheard, LB Darius Leonard, OT Le'Raven Clark, DL Jihad Ward, S Marvell Tell, RB Jonathan Williams and TE Hale Hentges inactive for Week 3.
The Miami Dolphins have declared WR Albert Wilson, SS Reshad Jones, S Doug Middleton, RB Myles Gaskin, DL Tank Carradine, OG Chris Reed and OT Isaiah Prince inactive for Week 3.