Look, we’ve all known the Jacksonville Jaguars were a dead team walking since about, oh, Halloween. But we’re not getting paid by the team. The guys that are getting checks signed by Shad Khan probably shouldn’t be making their disgust with this team quite so public, but that’s exactly what running backs T. J. Yeldon and Leonard Fournette did on Sunday:
Statement from: Tom Coughlin:
“I am disappointed in the behavior today from T.J. Yeldon and Leonard Fournette. They were disrespectful, selfish and their behavior was unbecoming that of a professional football player.” #Jaguars pic.twitter.com/WmcwQKt2Ek
— Phillip Heilman (@phillip_heilman) December 30, 2018
Fournette, who was inactive, and Yeldon, who was not, apparently spent almost the entire game sulking on the bench, according to multiple reports. Granted, there wasn’t much to watch; the Texans rolled the Jaguars, 20-3. But still, you want to show your team that you’re, you know, part of the team.
It's such an awful look for the #Jaguars and T.J. Yeldon that he's sitting on the bench as an active player while the offense is on the field. This is professional football, right? At least stand near the coaches and make it look like you're ready to go in if needed.
— Hays Carlyon (@HaysCarlyon) December 30, 2018
Tom Coughlin, Jaguars executive VP of football operations and a man with little patience for frivolous layabouts, ripped both players by name in a statement after the game: “I am disappointed in the behavior today from T.J. Yeldon and Leonard Fournette. They were disrespectful, selfish and their behavior was unbecoming that of a professional football player.”
Management has support of ownership, but for how long?
Just before Coughlin’s statement, Khan expressed his support for the current Jaguars regime while not overlooking the many deep flaws in the on-field product. Jacksonville went 5-11 just a year after reaching the AFC Championship.
Fournette had 439 yards and five touchdowns while playing in eight games this year; Fournette was also suspended one game for getting into a fight during the Jaguars’ Week 12 game against Buffalo. Yeldon had 414 yards and one touchdown in 15 games. He did not get any touches or targets on Sunday, and has not had double-digit carries in a game since Week 7. Fournette is still playing on a rookie deal, but Yeldon is a free agent.
It’s been a forgettable year for many reasons in Jacksonville, but it’s clear that a change of the calendar isn’t going to wipe away some of the foundational cracks in this organization.
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