Jacksonville Jaguars Forced to Start the Season and Face Texans Without All-Star Rookie RB Travis Etienne Jr.

With opening football Sunday days away, Jaguars' QB Trevor Lawrence would've had his first chance to reunite with former Clemson Tiger teammate RB Travis Etienne Jr. in an NFL game against the Texans.

Unfortunately, Travis Etienne Jr. who was drafted 25th overall in the 1st round in April 2021, suffered a season-ending foot injury against the New Orleans Saints in week 2 of the preseason, on Monday, August 23rd.

Finding similar replacements for Etienne may not be possible for the Jaguars this year, who very well could've been Urban Meyer’s offensive go-to. His replacements will be running backs James Robinson, Carlos Hyde, and Dare Ogunbowale, but can they replace Etienne's pass threat?

Jaguars Head Coach Addresses 1st NFL Injury
Jacksonville’s new head coach, Urban Meyer, decided to put Etienne on injury reserve after receiving negative results from an MRI. The test discovered a Lisfranc ligament injury to his left foot requiring surgery. With Etienne on injury reserve before the finalization of the 53-man roster, he will remain out for the entire season.

Etienne’s injury is a big loss for the Jaguars and Clemson teammate, quarterback Trevor Lawrence – 2021 No. 1 overall draft pick. In a press conference on Wednesday, head coach Urban Meyer said, “It was a shot to the jaw… [It’s] a tough injury. How do we fill that? We’re still having that conversation right now.”

College All-Star RB

In four years as a Clemson Tiger, Etienne ran up the numbers; rushing for the ACC record of 4,952 total yards with 70 rushing touchdowns, 78 total, scoring in up to 46 out of 55 games. In 2020, Etienne was awarded Associated Press All-American and All-ACC first-team RB and all-purpose performer honors. Rushing for 14 touchdowns, 913 yards on 168 carries (5.4 ypc), and catching 2 touchdowns, Etienne secured 48 receptions for 588 yards (12.3 avg.) and tallied over 200 yards on special teams.

Doctor’s Orders

In a video analyzing Lisfranc injuries, Dr. Selene Parekh, an orthopedic surgeon and Youtube contributor for The Fantasy Doctors said, “the bottom line is typically, this takes at least six months but more along the lines of seven to nine months to return to play.” His medical interpretation suggests that the decision to bench Etienne on IR for the season is justified – we won’t be seeing what the triple threat RB has to offer until next season. 

Photo Credit: © Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports