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Chris Ivory still sees role in crowded Jaguars backfield

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Despite the selection of Leonard Fournette in the first round of the 2017 NFL Draft, Jaguars running back Chris Ivory doesn't see any writing on the wall.

"One thing about it, people and everybody are going to have their opinions," Ivory said, via Jacksonville.com. "Mainly, the people that know nothing about football. They don't know the things we go through to get to this point. What we actually face before we come out for those games.

"Most of the stuff the people on the outside see are the mistakes and the bad things you do. It's not always going to go the way you want. I think a lot of people that like to see guys get a 1,000 yards each year, but it just don't work that way."

The situation for Ivory will be entirely different in 2017. Unfortunately, the first year of his five-year, $32 million contract yielded just 439 yards and three touchdowns. The uncertainty of a 29-year-old power back necessitated the selection of Fournette in the first place -- an unmistakable attempt to reverse the third-lowest scoring rushing offense in the league last year. It would not be cost effective for the Jaguars to cut ties with Ivory given his current contract situation, though, and as Jacksonville.com pointed out, Ivory has been taking almost all the starter's reps this spring.

If the Jaguars can afford it, there's nothing wrong with having a spare workhorse. During his time with the Jets, Ivory could have a profound impact on games if he got rolling. Ivory had one big-time game last year, a 107-yard performance against a very good Chiefs defense and had four games out of 11 where he averaged more than four yards per carry.

If easing Fournette in is an option, it might be the best one for a Tom Coughlin/Doug Marrone brain trust that can sometimes be hesitant to throw rookies directly into the water. In that way, Ivory might be a bigger part of the plan than he thinks.

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