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Jaguars RB Corey Grant 'a major change-of-pace back'

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The Jacksonville Jaguars have their thunder running back, Leonard Fournette. Could Corey Grant become a bigger part of the lightning complement?

Entering his fourth NFL season, the Jaguars indicated Grant would have a larger role after slapping him with a second-round restricted free-agent tender this offseason -- as opposed to opting for a cheaper tender. The Jags' release of Chris Ivory, coupled with not adding a back in the draft signaled the franchise is happy with its depth chart.

Grant currently sits behind Fournette and T.J. Yeldon in the running back corps. The speedy 26-year-old Grant could cut into Yeldon's pass-catching snaps behind Fournette.

"I thought Corey -- once again, he's a guy that stepped in [last season] and did a great job there at the end -- and he's just a guy we've got to get out there," offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett said, via Mike Kaye of First Coast News. "There's all these guys we're talking about and it's a long ways away from that first game to see what we're going to get but I'd love to put him out there because he's a major change-of-pace back."

Grant impressed in the Jags' AFC Championship Game loss to the New England Patriots. Hackett utilized the back's speed in space versus an undermanned Pats linebacking corps in the first half. Grant earned three catches -- going for 20 yards, 24 yards and 15 yards -- on three targets. The back ended the game as the team's second-leading receiver that day (59 yards). Whether the Patriots adjusted or Hackett went away from Grant, the shifty back didn't earn a second-half catch as the Jags lost the lead.

Buried on the depth chart last season, Grant rarely saw opportunities outside of special teams. Most his 30 carries for 248 yards came in mop-up duty during blowout wins.

After seeing the potential against the Patriots, Grant appears poised for a larger complementary role as a satellite back who could bring an explosive element to the offense in 2018.

"He's a guy that can catch the ball from the backfield," Hackett said. "Every time we've given him the ball in the backfield, he's done really good things. It's good because you've got him, you've got T.J. right there with Leonard, so it's a really good group of three guys that we've got there."

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