Jaguars release RB Toby Gerhart after two injury-filled seasons

Toby Gerhart, one of the Jaguars' big-ticket acquisitions two years ago, is being released to make room for one of this year's pickups, Chris Ivory. Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jacksonville Jaguars released veteran running back Toby Gerhart on Thursday afternoon, cutting ties with a player who has battled injuries during his two seasons with the team.

The release was expected after the team signed free agent Chris Ivory to a five-year contract worth $32 million, with $10 million guaranteed. Gerhart also was due a $500,000 roster bonus on Sunday and was scheduled to make $3 million in 2016. He signed a three-year deal worth $10.5 million with the Jaguars in March 2014.

Gerhart ran for 44 yards on 20 carries in 2015 and has 121 carries for 370 yards and two touchdowns in 21 games with the Jaguars. He has missed 11 games because of injuries to his foot, ribs and core. Gerhart told ESPN in December that he has been completely healthy for only three games in his two seasons with the Jaguars.

None of those games came during the 2015 season.

Gerhart was healthy throughout the 2015 offseason and looked good during OTAs, minicamp, training camp and the first part of the preseason. Then he strained an abdominal muscle before the third preseason game and missed the first two games of the regular season.

He aggravated the injury during practice before the season opener and the injury gradually worsened into a sports hernia. He played with the injury into November and twice made trips to a specialist in Philadelphia to have pain-killing injections.

He was placed on injured reserve on Dec. 5 and had surgery Dec. 10.

Gerhart was injured during his first regular-season game with the Jaguars, hurting his foot when he was brought down by a horse-collar tackle in the 2014 season opener against Philadelphia. He didn’t miss any time in the next three games, but re-injured the foot in the Jaguars' loss to Pittsburgh on Oct. 4 and sat out two games.

Gerhart started to hit his stride after the bye week, rushing for 111 yards and averaging 4.1 yards per carry. He had his best game of the season against Tennessee in Week 16, rushing for 54 yards and a touchdown in the Jaguars’ 21-13 victory, but he left the game in the second half because of a rib injury. That limited him to just four carries for 18 yards in the season finale against Houston.