NFL injury notebook: Jags’ Fournette questionable for Patriots

Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette missed practice Friday for the third straight day and was listed as questionable for Sunday’s game against the New England Patriots.

Aug 25, 2018; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette (27) runs for a score against the Atlanta Falcons during the second quarter at TIAA Bank Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Fournette suffered a right hamstring injury during last Sunday’s game against the New York Giants. Jaguars coach Doug Marrone termed Fournette as a game-time decision.

“We’ll see where he is,” Marrone told reporters. “If he’s ready go out there, he’ll be full go.”

Marrone said earlier this week that he was comfortable with Fournette playing even if he didn’t practice. T.J. Yeldon will start if Fournette can’t play. Yeldon (ankle) was a limited participant in Friday’s practice.

—Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman will miss Sunday’s against the Carolina Panthers because of a lingering knee injury, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Per the report, coach Dan Quinn ruled out his starting running back when he was sidelined for practice again Friday after missing practice all week. Freeman was later listed as out on the team’s injury report.

Backup Tevin Coleman will handle the starter’s workload when the Falcons host the Panthers on Sunday, with Ito Smith serving as the main backup and Brian Hill to be called up from the practice squad.

Aug 11, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) runs the ball against the Washington Redskins in the first quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters
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Also, wide receiver Russell Gage (knee) and guard Ben Garland (calf) also were ruled out of Sunday’s game.

—Carolina Panthers Pro Bowl guard Trai Turner was ruled out of Sunday’s game against the Atlanta Falcons due to a concussion.

Turner suffered the injury in the season-opening victory over the Dallas Cowboys. He was placed in the concussion protocol and did not practice all week.

Receiver Damiere Byrd (knee) will miss the game after also being hurt against the Cowboys. Receiver Curtis Samuel (heart) will miss his second straight game.

—Indianapolis left tackle Anthony Castonzo experienced a “minor setback” in his recovery for a hamstring injury and will miss Sunday’s game against the Washington Redskins, according to coach Frank Reich. It will be the second straight game Castonzo has missed.

Also ruled out for Sunday’s game are defensive lineman Denico Autry (ankle), cornerback Chris Milton (concussion) and offensive lineman Denzelle Good (knee, wrist).

Running back Marlon Mack (questionable, hamstring) is on track to make his season debut. Reich was pleased with what he saw from Mack during Friday’s practice.

“He looked good. He’s got that explosiveness, that quickness,” Reich told reporters. “He’s really made good progress. [I} feel confident for the game that if Marlon is up, ready to go, we will use him accordingly.”

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—Philadelphia Eagles running back Darren Sproles’ status for Sunday’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is up in the air after missing his second straight practice, per multiple reports.

Sproles, 35, was sidelined for Thursday and Friday practices because of a “slight hamstring issue,” according to head coach Doug Pederson. The 13-year veteran took the bulk of the team’s running back snaps in the first half of the Eagles season-opening win over Atlanta, rushing five times for 10 yards and adding four catches for 22 yards. He also served as the team’s main punt returner against the Falcons.

If Sproles is out Sunday, the Eagles expect to give more touches to Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement. Pederson admitted easing Ajayi’s workload against Atlanta after he had battled a foot injury during the preseason. But Ajayi became what Pederson called the second-half “workhorse” against the Falcons, finishing with 15 carries for 62 yards and two touchdowns.

Clement and wide receiver DeAndre Carter are both candidates to handle punt-return duties Sunday if Sproles can not play.

—The New York Giants had hoped to have pass rusher Olivier Vernon back for Sunday’s game against the Dallas Cowboys, but coach Pat Shurmur said the team has ruled him out.

Vernon missed the season opener with a high ankle sprain suffered near the end of training camp. Shurmur said earlier this week he expected to see Vernon on the field, but after the linebacker missed a third straight practice on Friday, the coach declared he will not dress for the game.

Vernon had 37 tackles, 6 1/2 sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles in 12 games for the Giants in 2017.

—Field Level Media

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