Even if Leonard Fournette doesn't play, Bill Belichick says Patriots still have a big challenge

Kevin C. Cox | Getty Images

What we do know is that the New England Patriots will take on the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday. What we don’t know is if the Patriots will have to face Leonard Fournette.

The Jaguars’ second-year running back suffered a “minor hamstring injury” last week against the New York Giants; and his status will not be known until later in the week.

What makes this injury so notable is that the 23-year-old had a breakout season with Jacksonville last year – rushing for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns on 268 carries in his rookie year. Fournette was also a big part in the Jaguars AFC Championship Game against the Patriots last year, in which he had 76 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries.

Regardless of if he’s in or not, Patriots’ head coach Bill Belichick knows there’s a challenge that lies ahead - as Jacksonville’s No. 2 back, TJ Yeldon, is also a strong player both in the running game and the passing game.

“It's a tough combination. Both are really good, different, but explosive,” Belichick said. “Tackling is going to be a big issue for us this week. Those guys are hard to tackle. They make a lot of yards on their own with their running skills, and so defeating the blocks and getting into position is half the battle and then the other half of it is actually making the tackle and getting them on the ground, so it'll be very challenging for us. These guys are good. Of course, [Blake] Bortles had a long run in the game against the Giants. Everybody's a problem."

Follow Megan on Twitter: @carnahanmegan