NFL suspends Leonard Fournette one game

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As of Sunday night, the expectation within the league office was that Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette would not be suspended. Between Sunday night and Monday night, that changed.

The NFL decided to impose a one-game suspension on Fournette in response to his decision to both leave the bench area on Sunday and fight with Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson.

NFL V.P. of football operations Jon Runyan issued the suspension under the two rules that Fournette violated — the rule against unsportsmanlike conduct, and the unnecessary roughness rules, which prohibits throwing a punch at an opponent. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, others in the league office saw it differently, but it’s Runyan’s job to make the final determination.

“Sportsmanship is the cornerstone of the game and the League will not tolerate game-related misconduct that conveys a lack of respect for the game itself and those involved in it,” Runyan wrote in the letter to Fournette. “Video of the incident shows that you were not a participant in the play and that you ran from your sideline to the opposite side of the field to insert yourself as an active participant in a fight. Once you entered the fight area, you struck a member of the opposing team. Your actions adversely reflected on the NFL and have no place in the game.”

Fournette will have the right to appeal the suspension within three business days. The hearing, if there’s an appeal, will be conducted by Derrick Brooks or James Thrash.

Fournette undoubtedly will appeal, especially if his contract contains language invalidating the remainder of the guarantees under his rookie deal in the event of a suspension. If such language is in the contract (remember the Roquan Smith controversy?), then more than $7 million in guarantees becomes wiped out, allowing the Jaguars to release Fournette after the season with no further financial obligation.

Any other discipline arising from the incident, which resulted in the ejections of Fournette and Lawson, will be handled in the form of fines.

40 responses to “NFL suspends Leonard Fournette one game

  1. Sucks for the Jags, but sucks more for my fantasy team that is literally on life support for the playoffs.

  2. I’m an LSU guy. Fournette had always been cool. But since he got into that locker room with Ramsey and others, he’s become just another little punk.

  3. This is appropriate. I do not want to see NFL become like hockey, where fighting is part of the game. Play between the whistles.

  4. Jags pulling for the suspension to void the guarantees or is the guy a lock to stay? (I don’t follow the Jags or Fournette so no idea how he is doing)

  5. Wouldn’t be surprised if, somehow, he ended up with an injury from the fight…then miss more games. Would be par for the course with him.

  6. I would say the wheels are coming off the bus in Jacksonville; but, the bus has been up on blocks for about six weeks.

  7. They were going to lose the game with or without Fournette. They don’t have a QB.

  8. Garbage franchise producing zero character players. Completely tore themselves apart in less than a year.

  9. Isn’t getting ejected in an elimination game punishment itself? Jeez. And runyons one to talk. He was the dirtiest tackle in the 90s. Ask strahan. Better yet… look at his fingers. Soft league.

  10. @dapros I disagree, if fighting were part of the game… There would be much less Trash talk! These guys do all this trash talking because they know there’s no repercussions! If the NFL just let them take off their helmets and go at it! Lol there hardly be any trash 🗑 talk. I for one would like to see fighting be apart of the game. That would end a lot of the players writing checks that their A.. can’t cash!

  11. Thanks for ruining thousands of fantasy football games and seasons this year! Hope it was worth it! 😉

  12. I was surprised when there was talk about him not being suspended. When you get involved like that when you aren’t on the field I don’t see how he can not be suspended. Now, if he were in the game at the time it probably would have been fine. In my opinion, they really had no choice or else when there’s an incident like that entire teams would get involved and that could get really ugly.

  13. Every time I see anything about the NFL’s VP of Football Relations (what ever that means) Jon Runyan handing out discipline to a player, I just shake my head. When he was playing, Sports Illustrated listed Runyan as the 2nd dirtiest player in the league. And he’s commenting about sportsmanship????
    That said, Fournette was pretty stupid throwing punches at Shaq Lawson’s helmet and face mask. He could have injured his hand.

  14. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    November 26, 2018 at 8:53 pm
    They were going to lose the game with or without Fournette. They don’t have a QB.
    He was single handedly going to win that game for the Jags. My Bills defensive line could not stop him. he was gashing us for 8-10 yds on every attempt. Line backers and safety’s were making all the tackles. When he came off the bench I was so happy because I knew he would be ejected and that the Bills would now win the game.

  15. biggs13 says:
    November 26, 2018 at 10:14 pm
    He didn’t even throw the punch. That was Hyde.

    Yeah, I dont know if it was absolutely clear that he threw the punch. Then again, he was on the ground choking out Shaq Lawson, so it doesnt really matter as far as Fournette is concerned if he threw the punch or not. Its still worthy of an ejection and a suspension.

  16. One game is the proper suspension. He will be back, play as he did before, and be a Jaguar next year. The team needs to make changes but if he can control his temper going forward, he is not going anywhere else.

  17. This is the same guy that hasn’t thrown Vontaze Burfict out of the League yet, for his repeated, heinous acts of unsportsmanlike conduct & conduct detrimental to the NFL. What a goof.

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