When will Travis Etienne return from injury? We analyze the impact of the Jaguars star's absence on his team

Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp
Jacksonville Jaguars Training Camp

In March, Travis Etienne's life changed for the better when he was drafted by the Jacksonville Jaguars with the 25th overall pick in the NFL Draft. In August, his life changed for the worse. The young running back suffered a Lisfranc injury. How long will the rookie be out? What will his absence mean for the rest of the team? Here's a look at what we know and expect going forward.

Travis Etienne's Injury

Travis Etienne suffered an injury to his foot during the course of the game against the 23-21 loss to the New Orleans Saints. There was hope that it was only going to hold him out for a chunk of the season. However, it turns out that Etienne suffered a Lisfranc injury and his season is now over. The rookie running back will have to wait until 2022 to get his first regular-season snaps in an NFL uniform.

How does Travis Etienne's injury affect the Jaguars in the short-term?

Without Etienne, the Jaguars' depth chart saw some shuffling. James Robinson is expected to start with Carlos Hyde and Dare Ogunbowale acting as the second and third-string players. Last year, Robinson rushed for more than 1000 yards and had seven touchdowns. He also caught 49 passes for 344 yards and three touchdowns.

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Carlos Hyde has been around the block as the Jaguars are his sixth team since 2017. However, this is the second time Hyde has been a member of the Jaguars. In his eight years, Hyde has had three seasons in which he rushed for about 1000 yards.

Cleveland Browns v Jacksonville Jaguars
Cleveland Browns v Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars should be confident in their ability to maintain a strong backfield in Etienne's absence. Robinson could take a step forward in his second season and Hyde could also work well in a one-two punch setup. While the Jaguars should be able to get by without him this year, Etienne's future with the Jaguars could be severely impacted.

Long-term effects for Etienne

By the end of this season, James Robinson may have already taken a step forward and shown that he can be a reliable starting rusher for the Jaguars. Carlos Hyde may also show that he is a great backup. If Etienne arrives to this backfield in 2022, he will most likely be forced to battle Hyde for the top backup role.

As a first-round pick, Etienne's future in Jacksonville may come into doubt as the team may already have a solution at running back. Etienne may find himself in a unique position where he may feel forced to hold out for a trade so he can go to a team that will use him as a starter. Otherwise, he will be a first-round running back living in the shadow of potentially two other running backs.

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