Jaguars Are Reportedly Signing Veteran Running Back

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Urban Meyer might be busy preparing for his first regular season game as a head coach, but the Jacksonville Jaguars still plan to make a move to bolster their practice squad this week.

According to Adam Schefter, former Houston Texans running back Duke Johnson will sign with the Jaguars practice squad on Monday. The 27-year-old visited with the team earlier this afternoon and the two parties were able to work out a deal.

Johnson last played for Houston in 2020, but after a fairly disappointing season, the Texans released him. The former third-round pick made 11 appearances and five starts but took 105 touches for just 484 yards from scrimmage and two total touchdowns. Houston reloaded its backfield with a completely new cast of characters and Johnson was left looking for a new team.

When Johnson began his career in 2015 with the Cleveland Browns, he proved to be a reliable third-down back with plenty of upside in the passing game. In his first three seasons with the team, he made 50 or more catches for at least 500 yards in each year.

Since then, Johnson hasn’t been as productive, but the Jaguars may be hoping that he provides some necessary depth in Jacksonville.

Johnson might be headed to the practice squad, but the Jaguars made need him on the active roster soon enough. Rookie running back Travis Etienne went down with an injury that ended his season, leaving Jacksonville’s backfield rather depleted ahead of their season opener. 2020 surprise James Robinson is poised to handle most of the lead ball-carrying responsibilities, with veteran Carlos Hyde and Dare Ogunbowale providing back-up.

Should anything happen to any of the above, or Meyer find himself in need of a reliable pass-catching presence out of the backfield, Johnson may get the call-up in the next few weeks.

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