Buccaneers' Leonard Fournette Ruled Out for Browns Game with Hip Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured Columnist IVNovember 26, 2022

TAMPA, FLORIDA - NOVEMBER 06: Leonard Fournette #7 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers runs the ball during the first quarter in the game against the Los Angeles Rams at Raymond James Stadium on November 06, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Leonard Fournette will miss Sunday's game against the Cleveland Browns because of a hip injury.

The team originally listed him as doubtful after he was limited in practice Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Giovani Bernard will help fill the void in Tampa Bay's backfield after the team activated him from injured reserve.

Fournette is the Bucs' leading rusher with 462 yards and three touchdowns on 135 carries. His absence will bump Rachaad White up one spot in the depth chart.

White started and played well in the team's 21-16 Week 10 victory over the Seattle Seahawks, finishing with 105 yards on the ground. Fantasy football managers will obviously take notice now that he's set to be the primary ball-carrier once again.

Adam Koffler @AdamKoffler

This is exactly why you held on to White for the first 11 weeks of the season, because he’ll have the workload Fournette had early in the season and he’s got the added rookie juice to go along with that workload

Whether it was Fournette or White out of the backfield, the Browns figured to be a favorable matchup for the Buccaneers running game. Cleveland is allowing 135.1 rushing yards per game and 4.8 yards per carry. Bills running backs Devin Singletary and James Cook combined to carve up the Browns defense for 172 yards in Week 11.

Sunday might be an opportunity for White to supplant Fournette as the starter for the rest of the season.

"Depending on who gets hot at a certain time, we'll ride that hand," head coach Todd Bowles told reporters Wednesday of the running back rotation.

Based on that comment, White may have been in line to get the lion's share of touches in Week 12 regardless of Fournette's injury.