This time last year, Travis Etienne was about to start his NFL career.
He is still in the same situation as he suffered a season-ending injury from Lisfranc in the pre-season which required surgery and ended his rookie campaign with the Jacksonville Jaguars before he even she doesn’t start.
While missing a season is never a reason to smile, Etienne admitted on Tuesday that being out for a Jaguars 3-14 campaign plagued by drama fused with Urban Meyer wasn’t the worst season to miss.
“Just seeing the results, you’re definitely like, ‘Whew, if there was a year to miss, I missed a great one,'” Etienne said via ESPN’s Michael DiRocco.
Etienne’s injury kick was one of the starting points of a calamitous season for the Jaguars.
The Jaguars’ selection of the Clemson product with the 25th pick in the 2021 draft was mind-boggling to many, as Duval’s roster lacked talent all around, but not at running back, where James Robinson was coming off a resounding rookie season. . Nonetheless, Meyer has indicated he is looking forward to using Etienne in a versatile role in which he could potentially line up broadly.
That never happened when Etienne was injured in the preseason and still hasn’t played in an NFL regular season.
What he missed was a season of chaos for the Jags in which they started 0-5 and then went on an eight-game losing streak. Amidst all these defeats, there were many mishaps from Meyer before he was fired in December.
Although Meyer drafted him, Etienne will (hopefully) get his first regular season NFL shots with Doug Pederson as head coach.
After taking stock of his foot in February it was around 80-85%, Etienne said on Tuesday it had improved to around 85-90%.
At this stage of his recovery, Etienne does not really feel the injury.
“It’s actually crazy because I was talking to my mom about it the other day,” Etienne said, via ESPN. “If I didn’t know I had a screw in my foot, I couldn’t tell. I feel like it’s a testament to where I am in my transition and how I healed.
“The screw is there. I think I’ll take it out. I could leave it there forever. I know most guys say leave it there, they never mind, but I just don’t want to have 40 years with a screw in my foot, really.”
Etienne was present and on the pitch for the Jaguars’ voluntary offseason workouts, but said he was limited in some of his work in the weight room. He does the “majority” of the work and still believes he will be cleared by training camp.
And after all that – finally – Etienne will have a chance to make a delayed first impression.
“I kind of heard bits and pieces from my running back coach [on how he may be used in the offense]”Said Etienne, via ESPN. “But I’m sure they plan to put the ball in my hands. I feel like a special player with the ball in my hands.”