Report: Bucs' Leonard Fournette Avoids Major Hamstring Injury; May Miss 1 or 2 Games

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVDecember 20, 2021

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (7) runs against the Chicago Bears during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio)
AP Photo/Mark LoMoglio

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette reportedly avoided a major hamstring injury on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints, but may still miss one or two games, according to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The rest of the injuries bear watching, but don't appear to be anything severe.<br>— Mike Evans’ hamstring should be OK, nothing major. <br>— Leonard Fournette may miss some time, a game or two, but not a major injury. <a href="https://t.co/EgOFcXGop5">https://t.co/EgOFcXGop5</a>

Fournette missed the remainder of Sunday's loss to the Saints after suffering the injury in the second half.

Fournette had nine carries for 34 yards and seven receptions for 33 receptions prior to exiting midway through the third quarter. He entered the day totaling 778 rushing yards and 421 receiving yards and 10 total touchdowns.

Unfortunately for Tampa Bay, Fournette was just the latest playmaker to suffer an injury on Sunday. Receivers Mike Evans (hamstring) and Chris Godwin (knee) each were ruled out at halftime. 

Rapoport also reported that Godwin is expected to miss the remainder of the regular season due to a sprained MCL, but "should be able to return for the playoffs."

The 26-year-old Fournette has once again established himself as a featured back for Tampa Bay, excelling as a runner and receiver.

After splitting playing time in 2020 during his first year with the Buccaneers, Fournette took control of the backfield during the playoffs while helping the team win a Super Bowl. The former Jacksonville Jaguars player has remained the top option for Tampa in 2021 after re-signing on a one-year deal.

Fournette's injury could hurt the Buccaneers' rushing attack, but Ronald Jones II should see more touches. Meanwhile, tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Cameron Brate will likely see more targets in the passing game with Fournette out.