Last Thursday's game against the hometown Tennessee Titans was a match that the Jacksonville Jaguars would like to forget. Nowhere in the hunt for a playoff spot, the Jags were embarrassed 30-9 in a game that saw Titans running back Derek Henry make four touchdowns and accumulate a total rushing yardage of 238, almost quadruple what Jacksonville was able to achieve on the ground.
It also wasn't exactly a banner day for Jags running back Leonard Fournette, who was responsible for more than half the rushing tally, at a paltry 36 yards. But it was his response to an alleged racial slur from a Tennessee fan in the bleachers that got the sophomore's blood boiling. A fan video capture of the incident highlighted the altercation, which was widely believed by Titans fans as a threat against the garrulous spectator.
“You’re too old for that," apparently yelled back Fournette. "Chill out. I’m not worried about you. You want to come down here? I’ll whoop your a**.”
While Jags coach Doug Marrone has to contend with helming a team that's at the bottom of the AFC South, dealing with Fournette was probably the last thing he wanted to do. But after a talk with the running back, he was satisfied with Fournette's take on the argument, according to The Athletic's Daniel Popper. So far, there's been no word of any suspension of the player from the NFL or the Jags camp.
Doug Marrone met with Leonard Fournette, who said the fan he threatened in Nashville used a racial slur. As a result, Marrone won’t be issuing any discipline. “I trust the player,” Marrone said. #Jaguars— Daniel Popper (@danielrpopper) December 10, 2018
If anyone's considering punting Fournette, the running back doesn't exactly have a superlative history to back him up. He was punted from a Nov. 25, 2018, game after getting into a brawl with Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson. Lawson was also thrown out but wasn't suspended for another game, unlike Fournette, who had to sit out the Jags match against the Indianapolis Colts.
But Fournette aside, Marrone may have to deal with what may either be a lack of discipline on the field or a growing toxicity in the locker room. There's some evidence to suggest he's already starting to address that issue. After the Bills game, the Jags led the league in penalties, especially with accumulating the most personal fouls, at 22. In the last two weeks, however, Kansas City, Buffalo, and Washington have risen to occupy the top three penalty berths for the season, with Jacksonville sliding to fourth.