After a game where he was the absolute workhorse of the Bucs offense, Leonard Fournette revealed on Twitter that he was dealing with a very painful injury while trying to help his team make the playoffs. In a since-deleted tweet, Fournette revealed that part of the reason why it seems he hasn’t been able to run at the speed and acceleration he and Bucs fans would like is due to a Lisfranc injury he suffered.
This is reported by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons “Lisfranc (midfoot) injuries occur when bones in the midfoot are broken or ligaments that support the midfoot are torn. The severity of a Lisfranc injury can vary widely – from a simple injury involving one metatarsal joint to a complex injury involving many metatarsal joints and broken bones.
Many players and especially running backs end up missing time with similar injuries.
Bucs did not list Fournette in the injury report last week
This surprising information raises some very serious questions. First, when did Fournette initially get the injury? If it was prior to last night’s Cardinals game, why wasn’t it revealed by the Bucs in their injury reports?
Fournette has been conspicuously absent from any injury report over the past week and didn’t even get an experienced “rest day” like several of his teammates. Furthermore, if the Bucs know about the injury (which I assume they are), how on earth can they continue to use Fournette as they are.
On Sunday, he defeated “starter” Rachaad White 49 to 29 and played in 60% of the team’s offensive plays. In addition, Fournette was the undisputed focal point of the offense, logging a team high 20 carries and tying for the team high with 10 goals in the passing game.
The injury was no doubt a problem on the team’s second drive as Fournette attempted to make three straight runs that took him just a yard to convert another set of downs and failed to do so, resulting in a turnover on downs for the Bucs offense. Why do head coach Todd Bowles and offensive coordinator Byron Leftwich allow this kind of decision making when they are aware of this injury and how it could affect Fournette and the offense as a whole?
Do they really trust the other declining options (White, Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Giovani Bernard) so little that they think a bumpy Fournette is still their best option for success? Why have they not released this information as required by the NFL’s Personnel (Injury) Reporting Policy?
Kudos to Fournette for showing how much he cares about the game and his team in removing what must be an excruciating injury. But this information only raises many more questions about the Bucs’ decision makers this season.
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