The Jacksonville Jaguars are facing an uncertain situation in the backfield. Starter Leonard Fournette is set to miss his third straight game this week with a lingering hamstring ailment. The Jags’ third-stringer, Corey Grant, was recently placed on injured reserve. Fournette’s immediate backup, T.J. Yeldon, has dealt with ankle injury issues of his own this season.
The Jaguars scoured the free agency wire and decided to sign veteran back Jamaal Charles last week, but Charles amassed just 10 total yards across 6 touches in the team’s 40-7 defeat at the hands of the Cowboys last week. It seems doubtful that the 31-year-old Charles has much left in the tank at this advanced stage of his career.
So, with things getting desperate following 2 straight losses, the Jaguars have reportedly acquired veteran running back Carlos Hyde in a trade with the Cleveland Browns. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Jags sent the Browns a fifth-round draft pick.
Hyde was in his first year with Cleveland after agreeing to a 3-year deal worth just over $15 million during the offseason. Hyde, who spent the first several seasons of his career with the San Francisco 49ers, had struggled with the Browns. The former Ohio State Buckeye racked up 382 yards on 114 attempts (3.8 yards per carry) with 5 rushing touchdowns through 6 games with the Browns.
The deal makes sense for both sides. Hyde at least gives the Jaguars another capable body to utilize in the backfield until Fournette is healthy enough to seize the duties as the No. 1 option once again.
Hyde has rushed for over 3,000 yards along with 26 touchdowns in his 4-plus seasons in the league since being the 49ers’ second-round pick back in 2014. Injuries limited him to just 21 games played during his first 2 pro campaigns, but he ran for 940 yards with 8 touchdowns while healthy for most of last season.
For the Browns, dealing Hyde means more opportunities for rookie Nick Chubb. Chubb, the team’s second-round draft pick out of Georgia, has only carried the ball 16 times all season up to this point. He has recorded 173 yards on the ground (nearly 11 yards per carry) with a couple of touchdowns despite limited snaps.
The Browns don’t have serious aspirations of winning a title this season, so they may as well part ways with a guy like Hyde. Cleveland has said for weeks that they want to get Chubb more time on the field, and this move will clear the way for just that. Duke Johnson is the other option currently in the Browns’ backfield.
The running game will be important moving forward for Cleveland given the problems in the passing game. Baker Mayfield has been up and down far as a rookie, and he doesn’t have the greatest crop of weapons with which to work. Jarvis Landry is a solid No. 1 option, but Breshad Perriman and 3 other rookie receivers leaves plenty to be desired. Expect the Browns to lean fairly heavily on Chubb and Johnson coming out of the backfield moving forward.
Chubb has faced issues with pass protection early on, which has played a role in why the Browns have been cautious with keeping him out on the field for very long.
The Browns will also have a bounty of draft picks in the 2019 draft. Cleveland owns its own picks in each of the first 6 rounds, and trades have also given the Browns a third-round pick from the New England Patriots, a fifth-rounder from the Patriots, this fifth-rounder from the Jaguars and a conditional seventh-rounder also from Jacksonville.
Taylor Smith has been a staff writer with GamblingSites.org since early 2017. Taylor is primarily a sports writer, though he will occasionally dabble in other things like politics and entertainment betting. His primary specialties are writing about the NBA, Major League Baseball, NFL and domestic and international soccer. Fringe sports like golf and horse racing aren’t exactly his cup of tea, bu ...
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