Bruce Arians urged inactive Leonard Fournette to embrace situation in regular season

USA TODAY Sports

Playoff Lenny was a big part of the Buccaneers’ run to a Super Bowl title, but the regular season wasn’t all smooth sailing for running back Leonard Fournette.

Fournette played a smaller role than the one he’d played in Jacksonville over the first three years of his career and found out that he was going to be a healthy scratch for the team’s Week 14 game against the Vikings. Fournette wasn’t pleased about that decision and head coach Bruce Arians shared the conversation he had with the running back about how he could move forward.

“I said, ‘This is your situation. It can change at the drop of a hat,'” Arians said, via Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times. “But this is your situation. Either embrace it, or you say, ‘Cut me.’ I said, ‘What do you want? Because this is a very special team that you’re part of. I think you’ve got a feeling of that. Just see if you can hang in there to see what happens.’ And he did, and I’m really proud of him.”

The situation did change quickly as Ronald Jones was inactive for two weeks while on the COVID-19 reserve list and Fournette moved into the starting lineup. Jones also missed time in the postseason with a quad injury and staying the course paid off for player and team.