A Sunday morning surprise a few hours before kickoff of Week 9’s early games: the Jacksonville Jaguars benched standout running back Leonard Fournette for the team’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals for violation of team rules.
The Jags posted a statement from coach Doug Marrone on its Twitter. It read: “Leonard Fournette is not playing in today’s game due to an infraction of a team rule. This has been addressed internally and further details will not be made public.”
ESPN’s Field Yates, citing sources, reported that “among the reasons” Fournette was benched is that he missed the team photo earlier this week. A short time later on Fox, Jay Glazer said Fournette missed the team photo as well as a workout and treatment session.
Making Fournette inactive is a move by Marrone and head of football operations Tom Coughlin to continue to establish a culture of accountability. Coughlin was renowned during his time as head coach with the Jaguars and then the New York Giants for demanding that his players arrive five minutes early for meetings – arriving “on time,” in Coughlin’s world meant you were late.
The fourth overall pick in this year’s draft, Fournette did not play in the Jaguars’ last game due to an ankle injury. But he started the first six games of the season, averaging 4.6 yards per carry on 130 attempts, with six rushing touchdowns. He also has 15 catches for 136 yards and another touchdown.