Jags sign former Texans RB Blue to 1-year deal

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Jaguars signed running back Alfred Blue on Monday, adding a productive veteran as more insurance in case Leonard Fournette is not able to rebound from a disappointing 2018 season.

Blue, who turns 28 later this month, rushed for 2,407 yards and eight touchdowns in five seasons with the Houston Texans. He started 16 of the 72 games in which he played and his best season came in 2015, when he ran for a team-high 698 yards and two touchdowns and started nine games. Blue played as Lamar Miller's backup the past three seasons.

Fournette had a good rookie season, rushing for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns in 2017, but struggled last season. Fournette missed six full games and half of two others with a right hamstring injury in the first eight weeks of the season and there was mounting frustration inside the organization about the length of his absence.

Fournette also was suspended without pay for one game for leaving the bench and fighting with Buffalo Bills defensive lineman Shaq Lawson during the Jaguars' 24-21 loss at Buffalo on Nov. 25. Fournette said he ran across the field because he saw Lawson shove Carlos Hyde and wanted to defend his teammate. Shortly after that the Jaguars told Fournette they were voiding the guaranteed money remaining in his contract as punishment, a move that Fournette has appealed with the NFL.

Fournette also was caught on video yelling at a fan in the stands during the team's embarrassing 30-9 loss to Tennessee on Dec. 6. The video clip released on TMZ.com shows Fournette yelling that he was going to "beat your ass" at an unknown fan before two people walk up and escort Fournette away. Fournette said several days later that a fan used a racial slur, a claim that teammate T.J. Yeldon corroborated.

The season ended on a sour note when Jaguars executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin publicly criticized Fournette (who was inactive because of a foot injury) and Yeldon for sitting alone on the bench and acting disinterested during the season finale. Coughlin said they were "disrespectful, selfish and their behavior was unbecoming that of a professional football player."

Fournette's final numbers in his second season: eight full games played, two half-games played, 439 yards and five touchdowns rushing (3.3 yards per carry), a suspension, and a public scolding.

The Jaguars now have four running backs under contract: Fournette, Blue, veteran Thomas Rawls (whom they signed in January) and second-year player David Williams.