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Jaguars' Travis Etienne Jr. Jokes About Missing Rookie Season After Urban Meyer Drama

Adam WellsApril 12, 2022

JACKSONVILLE, FL - AUGUST 14: Jacksonville Jaguars Running Back Travis Etienne Jr. (1) during the preseason game between the Cleveland Browns and the Jacksonville Jaguars on August 14, 2021 at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville, Fl. (Photo by David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
David Rosenblum/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Normally a season-ending injury would be a devastating moment for an athlete, but Jacksonville Jaguars running back Travis Etienne Jr. had a glass-half-full take on missing his rookie campaign.

Speaking to reporters Tuesday, Etienne joked that he picked the right season to miss because of all the drama with Urban Meyer in 2021:

Ari Meirov @MySportsUpdate

<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Jaguars?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Jaguars</a> RB Travis Etienne on not playing last season with all the Urban Meyer drama going on: β€œIf there was any year to miss, I missed a great one.” πŸ’€<a href="https://t.co/qMiTEx6BPK">pic.twitter.com/qMiTEx6BPK</a>

The Jaguars selected Etienne with the 25th pick in the 2021 NFL draft. He was expected to be the starting running back but suffered a Lisfranc injury in late August that required surgery.

While Etienne was rehabbing, the Jaguars were in the midst of a disastrous season.

After a 24-21 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 4, Meyer stayed behind in Cincinnati instead of flying home with the team. He was filmed at an event with a woman who was dancing on his lap.

"I stayed [in Ohio] to see the grandkids and we all went to dinner that night at a restaurant," Meyer told reporters. "There was a big group next to the restaurant and they wanted me to come over and take pictures and I did. And they were trying to pull me out on the dance floor, screwing around and I should have left."

In March, The Athletic's Jayson Jenks and Mike Sando reported about Meyer's approach to coaching in the NFL, which included threatening to cut players after one missed an assignment during a preseason game and telling them they "couldn't get a job paying more than $15 an hour."

One member of the Jaguars football operations staff told Jenks and Sando that Meyer's tenure as head coach was the "most toxic environment I've ever been a part of."

Jenks and Sando also noted Meyer was "unfamiliar with star players around the league," including Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald. 

Meyer reportedly asked one team staffer: "Who's this 99 guy on the Rams? I'm hearing he might be a problem for us."

Kicker Josh Lambo told Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times in December that Meyer didn't call specialists on the team by their names and said the coach kicked him in the leg during a preseason practice.

Jaguars owner Shad Khan announced Dec. 16 that Meyer had been fired after a 2-11 start. Darrell Bevell took over as interim head coach for the remainder of the season.

Etienne will get a chance to begin his career in full under new head coach Doug Pederson in 2022.