Each day for the next two weeks we’ll review how each position group for the Jacksonville Jaguars performed in 2015 and take an early look at 2016. Tuesday, we examine the running backs. On Wednesday we’ll do tight ends. We already looked at quarterbacks.
Recap: The Jaguars didn’t want to overload Yeldon early but he was so impressive as a pass protector and receiver throughout OTAs and training camp that they viewed him as a three-down back from the beginning of the season. He led the Jaguars with 740 yards rushing despite battling through several minor injuries. However, a sprained MCL cost him the final three games. He also caught 36 passes (fourth most on the team) for 279 yards and one TD. Robinson (266 yards), the team’s leading rusher in 2014, battled a sprained MCL early in the season and had ball-security issues at the end of the season, fumbling four times in three games. Gerhart got only 20 carries because of a sports hernia that eventually required surgery in early December. Bernard Pierce’s most notable moment was his block instead of a tackle while covering a punt against Tampa Bay.
Looking ahead to 2016
The skinny: Yeldon is clearly the starter, but the Jaguars are looking for a No. 2 back. Robinson had a chance to establish himself in that role but the fumbles late in the season ruined any good that he did. Don’t be surprised if Gerhart is back. The Jaguars certainly haven’t gotten their money’s worth out of Gerhart (370 yards and two TDs rushing) in two seasons, but he has missed 11 games because of injuries. He’s due a $500,000 roster bonus in March and is scheduled to make $3 million, so there’s a possibility they will approach Gerhart about redoing the final year of his contract. The Jaguars gave Gray some work in the final two games (14 carries) and he’ll get a further look throughout OTAs and camp. Grant made the roster as a kickoff returner and that’s the role he’ll have going forward if he sticks. Pierce’s contract expires and it’s unlikely that he’ll be brought back.