ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP)The Buffalo Bills replenished their running back depth by signing Leonard Fournette to their practice squad on Tuesday.
Fournette, a six-year NFL veteran, has been out of football since being released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in February. The 28-year-old fills a spot left open when the Bills signed running back Ty Johnson to their active roster after Damien Harris (neck) was placed on injured reserve 10 days ago.
In a corresponding move, the Bills released defensive tackle Kendal Vickers.
Aside from Johnson, the Bills are carrying only three running backs, rounded out by starter James Cook and backup Latavius Murray. Buffalo (5-3) has been off since beating Tampa Bay on Thursday and is preparing to play at Cincinnati (4-3) on Sunday night.
Fournette is a rugged-running player with dual-threat abilities as a receiver. He has yet to play to the expectations that led to Jacksonville selecting him with the fourth pick in the 2017 draft.
He spent three seasons with the Jaguars before being released ahead of the 2020 season. Fournette then signed with Tampa Bay, where he went on to score two touchdowns to help the Buccaneers beat Kansas City to win the Super Bowl that season.
Fournette finished last season with 189 carries for 686 yards and three touchdowns, along with 73 catches for 563 yards and three scores. Overall, he has 4,478 yards rushing and 34 touchdowns, and 2,219 yards receiving and seven TDs.
The Jaguars moved on from Fournette for disciplinary issues, which former team executive Tom Coughlin referred to the player as being “disrespectful” and “selfish.” One issue was related to Buffalo, when the NFL suspended Fournette for one game after he got into a fight with Bills edge-rusher Shaq Lawson in the Jaguars’ 24-21 loss in November 2018.
“I take full responsibility for that,” Fournette said, following an outing in which he had 95 yards rushing and scored twice before being ejected late in the third quarter. “We lost the game. We should’ve won this game hands down.”
Watching from the press box, Coughlin was visibly angered by Fournette’s ejection, which led to Jacksonville losing its seventh consecutive outing.
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