Leonard Fournette is officially done for the rest of the regular season.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Thursday placed their starting running back, as well as linebacker Lavonte David, on injured reserve. The two will miss at least three games but will be eligible to return for the start of the playoffs.
Fournette and David both went down in the Bucs' Week 15 defeat to the Saints. The veteran running back suffered a hamstring injury and was spotted on crutches by the end of the evening.
Tampa Bay has insurance at RB in the form of Ronald Jones, though his role has been limited all year. Fournette has tallied 171 more touches than Jones in 2021 and was in the midst of his most efficient season, while scoring 10 touchdowns. After Jones' 71 carries, no other Bucs back has more than 11 attempts.
David sprained his foot in Week 15's shutout loss, leaving the former Pro Bowler just three tackles shy of registering 100 for the ninth consecutive season. The Bucs, of course, also just lost wideout Chris Godwin to a torn ACL and Mike Evans to a hamstring injury that has sidelined him during practice this week.
Tampa, which holds a three-game lead in the NFC South, closes out the regular season with road games against the Panthers and Jets and then at home versus Carolina.