It’s been four games since Bucs running back Leonard Fournette suited up in red and pewter. Tampa Bay lost its’ leading rusher to a hamstring injury in the third quarter of a 9-0 loss to the Saints in Week 15. Fournette was supposed to return against the Eagles in the Wild Card round, but wasn’t healthy enough to play.

“[We’ll] wait and see when he can hit top speed,” head coach Bruce Arians said on Sunday. “He tried to hit top speed a couple of times and he could feel it. [Until] he’s full speed, we’re not going to use him.”

Fournette, who turned 27 on Tuesday, seems to believe that time has come. On Tuesday, the Bucs running back sent a tweet that suggests his return is pending this Sunday.

Of course, the final decision is not Fournette’s to make. The Bucs training staff will likely evaluate his performance throughout the week to see if he can run full speed. If he can, expect to see Fournette in the starting lineup against the Rams.

Fournette is the team’s leading rusher, posting 812 yards in the regular season. He also caught 69 passes for 454 yards and scored ten total times. Getting Fournette back would help the Bucs, as the run game has struggled since his absence. But Fournette’s biggest contributions may come in pass protection. He’s grown significantly in that area this season. Also, second-leading rusher Ronald Jones may miss another week with a sprained ankle.

The Bucs host the Rams on Sunday at 3pm EST in the divisional playoffs.

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About the Author: Jon Ledyard

Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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revfish
revfish
4 months ago

when people see how Tampa is cautious with its players who are hurt, that should shed a lot of light green on the malarkey Antonio Brown was spouting. They kept both him and Grayson out of a playoff game! Be

Captain Sly
Captain Sly
Reply to  revfish
4 months ago

Please let’s not get that convo started again, the only ones who believed what AB was spouting off were those who had an agenda. Nobody and I mean nobody’s losing any sleep now that AB’s gone. Bucs have moved on and get well soon Fournette!

drdneast
drdneast
4 months ago

Only a moron, or someone who just doesn’t process reason, would believe any of the bilge that came out of AB’s mouth. He talked his way right out of the NFL when he revealed he was given pain injections and then bad mouthed Brady, the man personally responsible for resurrecting his career. The guy has toxic written all over him.

drdneast
drdneast
4 months ago

I’d like to see Lenny back but if I was given a choice, I’d rather see Jensen and Wirts healthy and playing. Without those two, Lenny will have trouble going forward.

fredster
fredster
Reply to  drdneast
4 months ago

Well yeah but I’ll take what we can get as far as players back. Disagree he won’t be effective if o line is hurt. Run blocking will be fine it’s pass protection I’m worried if they can’t go. He also is huge in pass game over our other RBs who are inconsistent. So he is quite important imo.

Dave
Dave
Reply to  fredster
4 months ago

Disagree on that. Gio is easily our best pass catching back. If Fournette is out, I think we’d be totally fine with Rojo on early downs, and Gio on 3rd downs and passing situations.