Jaguars RB Ryquell Armstead back on reserve/COVID-19 list, out 'a while'

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars are going to be without running back Ryquell Armstead indefinitely, leaving eight-year vet Chris Thompson, a second-year player and an undrafted rookie to handle the bulk of the work.

Armstead was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list on Saturday for the second time this offseason. He spent 19 days on the list from Aug. 21 and dealt with a groin injury and another illness before going back on the list.

"I can't put a real timetable on it but he'll be out for a while," coach Doug Marrone said.

Players are placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list if they test positive for the virus or have been in close contact with someone who has.

After the team released Leonard Fournette last Monday, Armstead was the second-most experienced back on the roster even though he had just 35 career carries. The Jaguars signed Thompson, who has rushed for 1,194 yards and five touchdowns in his carer, in May to be a change-of-pace back or a third-down back, but the Jaguars could turn to him to be the lead back. He did that in spot duty in his seven seasons in Washington, but he has also battled injuries throughout his career. He's played in more than 11 games just twice since he was drafted in 2013 and has played in all 16 games just once.

The most carries he's had in a season is 68 in 2016 -- the only year he's played a full season.

It's more likely the Jaguars will go with a rotation of Devine Ozigbo and James Robinson and bring Thompson in on third downs. Ozigbo got all of his nine career carries in the 2019 season finale, when he ran for 27 yards and caught three passes for 23 yards. Robinson is an undrafted rookie who ranks second all-time at Illinois State in rushing yards (4,444), rushing TDs (44), and all-purpose yards (5,218).

Armstead was a fifth-round pick in 2019 and ran for 108 yards on 35 carries as a rookie.

The Jaguars had free agent Devonta Freeman in for a visit over the weekend but the sides were unable to agree to terms, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.