Jaguars reportedly signing Jamaal Charles with Leonard Fournette banged up


Jamaal Charles is back. The Jaguars just breathed second life into his career.

According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Jaguars are signing Charles to a one-year deal on Tuesday. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported that the Jaguars are cutting running back Brandon Wilds to make room for Charles.

The move comes two days after they lost running back Corey Grant to a season-ending injury and one day after starter Leonard Fournette was reportedly ruled out for Week 6 with an ongoing hamstring injury. The Jaguars, a team designed to pound the ball, are banged up at running back, which is why they’re signing a 31-year-old running back who hasn’t been productive for a few years now.

When Charles was productive — at his peak — he was one of the game’s top playmakers. The former Chiefs running back has five 1,000-yard seasons on his resume. He’s totaled 7,556 rushing yards and 44 rushing touchdowns since 2008, numbers that rank seventh and 16h in that span even though he’s played in only 117 of 165 possible games. Injuries have taken a toll on Charles, who owns the highest yards per carry average among all running backs, which is why he went unsigned after a bland season behind C.J. Anderson and Devontae Booker in Denver last year.

Nobody should expect Charles to turn back into the running back he once was, but if he can average 4.3 yards per carry (as he did in Denver) in a relief role behind T.J. Yeldon, the Jaguars will take it. They’re hurting at arguably the most important position on their offense.¬†

In the offseason, instead of pursuing a quarterback upgrade, they went out and handed guard Andrew Norwell a monster contract. The problem is, Fournette¬†has been bothered by a hamstring issue, missing Sunday’s loss to the Chiefs and already being ruled out for the team’s upcoming game against the Cowboys. He’s played in two games this season. During the lopsided loss to Chiefs, the Jaguars let Blake Bortles drop back to pass 61 times. He turned the ball over five times. Even without Fournette, the Jaguars shouldn’t move away from their ground game. They don’t have a good enough quarterback to become one dimensional.

For Charles, who got to skip training camp and the preseason, it’s a chance for him to join a contender and ride off into the sunset with a Super Bowl ring. And hey, if he manages to look good in the process, maybe he’ll get another job next season.



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